Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Ane has at last announced that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics is joining the long list of things that definitely weren’t going to be postponed but now very much are.
In a statement issued today, the Japanese Prime Minister said the 2020 games would be postponed until 2021.
In a joint statement with the International Olympic Committee it was announced that:
“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.”
The 2020 Olympics always looked set to go the way of Glastonbury, the European Championships and the Premier League season but until now, the Japanese government had been confident that they would be able to host in 2020.
The statement went on to say that:
“The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.”
The knock-on effect of a postponement for athletes all over the world is yet to really be quantified. Some may benefit from extra time to prepare or recover from injuries. Others will have to recalibrate both their training plans and mental preparations.
With the games now postponed, one of the few remaining high profile sporting events still taking place over the coming months is the UFC title bout between Khabib Nurmegamedov and Tony Ferguson.
A fight that has been made and then cancelled four times already, the UFC’s president, Dana White, is determined to for it to go ahead, even if it means doing it behind closed doors.
Scheduled for April 19, the next few weeks will tell whether it can stand the test of the coronavirus.