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World Athletics welcomes Tokyo Olympic Games postponement

World Athletics welcomes Tokyo Olympic Games postponement
March 25, 2020

World Athletics has released a statement welcoming the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese Government to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to 2021.

The statement advises that the postponement “is what athletes want” and that the “decision will give all athletes, technical officials and volunteers some respite and certainty in these unprecedented and uncertain times.”

It adds “athletics will continue to do whatever we can to preserve and create an outdoor season of one-day meetings in 2020, starting and ending later than usual, so athletes, when they are able and it is safe to, will have access to competitions in every region. This will help them benchmark their performances and adjust their training accordingly for an Olympic Games in 2021. In light of this announcement, we will also expedite our current review of the Olympic qualification system, in cooperation with the IOC, and release any changes to the process as soon as possible so athletes know where they stand.

“World Athletics stands ready to work with the IOC and all sport on an alternative date for the Olympic Games in 2021 and has already been in discussion with the Organising Committee of the World Athletics Championships Oregon 21 regarding the possibility of moving the dates of this highly popular worldwide event. They have reassured us that they will work with all of their partners and stakeholders to ensure that Oregon is able to host the World Athletics Championships on alternative dates, including dates in 2022.”

Commenting after the announcement of the postponement, World Athletics President Lord Coe, advised “the athletes have been under intolerable conditions, many of them are unable to train and many have been going through real emotional turmoil.”

Coe, who was Chairman of the London 2012 organising committee, added "the integrity of competition would have been seriously compromised if we had tried to force the Games into the remaining part of this year."

The Olympics have never been delayed in their 124-year modern history, though they were cancelled altogether in 1916, 1940 and 1944 during World War One and World War Two.

Major Cold War boycotts disrupted the Moscow and Los Angeles summer Games in 1980 and 1984.

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23rd March 2020 - IOC sets deadline for potential Tokyo Olympics postponement

17th March 2020 - IOC’s Coates refutes claims Olympic organisers are ‘underplaying the challenge’ posed by Coronavirus

16th March 2020 - Olympic organisers announce on time completion of all Tokyo 2020 venues

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3rd March 2020 - Tokyo Olympics organisers announce interactive mobile app as innovation challenge winner

11th February 2020 - APT Asia Pacific offers green surfacing solutions at Tokyo 2020 Olympics

3rd February 2020 - Indoor arena for 2020 Olympics and Paralympics opened in Tokyo

13th December 2019 - Sport Group backs new World Athletics brand

7th October 2019 - Ignoring small crowds IAAF President Sebastian Coe describes World Athletics Championships Doha as ‘the best in history’

3rd September 2019 - IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha set to be region’s biggest ever event

9th June 2019 - IAAF advances plans to introduce new World Athletics brand identity

17th August 2017 - World athletics looks to Qatar after IAAF World Championships flag hand over

15th January 2020 - International Olympic Committee deliver guidelines on political protests

6th January 2020 - Chinese organisers move forward with 2022 Winter Olympics venues

7th December 2019 - Olympic Summit encourages international sporting bodies to explore esport opportunities

3rd December 2019 - Completed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium handed over to Japan Sport Council

8th May 2019 - Olympic sport federations call for clarity on management of Tokyo Games


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