Tokyo Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will take place on July 23 and August 8, 2021.

The International Olympic Committee confirmed the news on Monday, after a meeting with the Tokyo 2020 organising committee.

A decision to postpone the quadrennial Games together with the Paralympic Games was taken last week by the IOC and the Japanese government due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in the world.

A statement from the IOC also confirmed the new dates for the Paralympic Games, which will now take place from August 24 to September 5, 2021, also in Tokyo, Japan.

The statement said “These new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organisation of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The new dates, exactly one year after those originally planned for 2020 also have the added benefit that any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum, in the interests of the athletes and the international federations.

“Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process. The same heat mitigation measures as planned for 2020 will be implemented.”

The confirmation of the new dates comes less than a week after the postponement of the Games.

The IOC president Thomas Bach said, “I want to thank the international federations for their unanimous support and the Continental Associations of National Olympic Committees for the great partnership and their support in the consultation process over the last few days.

“I would also like to thank the IOC Athletes’ Commission, with whom we have been in constant contact.

“With this announcement, I am confident that, working together with the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, the Tokyo metropolitan government, the Japanese government, and all our stakeholders, we can master this unprecedented challenge. Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel. These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel.”

Tokyo 2020 organising committee president Yoshiro Mori said he had proposed the July 23 to August 8 time frame to the IOC, and that Bach had agreed following consultations with the international sports federations.

This will mean the events such as the World Athletics Championships, which was due to be staged next summer, will have to be put back 12 months.

World Athletics said: “Everyone needs to be flexible and compromise and to that end we are now working with the organizers of the World Athletics Championships in Oregon on new dates in 2022 for our World Athletics Championships.”

“A certain amount of time is required for the selection and qualification of athletes and for their training and preparation, and the consensus was that staging the rescheduled Games during the summer vacation in Japan would be preferable,” Mori said.

“In terms of transport, arranging volunteers and the provision of tickets for those in Japan and overseas, as well as allowing for the COVID-19 situation, we think that it would be better to reschedule the Games to one year later than planned, in the summer of 2021.”

The International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons added: “When the Paralympic Games do take place in Tokyo next year, they will be an extra-special display of humanity uniting as one, a global celebration of human resilience and a sensational showcase of sport.

“With the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games 512 days away, the priority for all those involved in the Paralympic Movement must be to focus on staying safe with their friends and family during this unprecedented and difficult time.”

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