Coronavirus News Asia

Postponed Tokyo Olympics to open July 23, 2021


The Tokyo Olympics will begin on July 23 next year, organizers said on Monday, after the coronavirus forced the historic decision to postpone the Games until 2021.

The announcement comes less than a week after the organisers were forced to delay the Games under heavy pressure from athletes and sports federations as the global outbreak worsened.

“The Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021. The Paralympics will be held from August 24 to September 5,” Tokyo 2020 chief Yoshiro Mori told reporters at a hastily arranged evening news conference.

Only hours earlier, Mori had said he expected a decision from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during the course of the week.

But on Monday evening, he said an emergency teleconference had been held with the IOC and the date finalised. 

“We agreed that the timing of the event will be in summer as originally planned, considering the coronavirus… and a certain amount of time needed for preparations, selection and qualification of athletes,” he added.

In a statement, the IOC said the new dates would give health authorities and organisers “the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The decision would also cause “minimum” disruption to the international sports calendar, the body said.



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