Published: Wed, March 25, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

International Olympic Committee hopes to agree new Tokyo Olympics date 'as soon as possible'

International Olympic Committee hopes to agree new Tokyo Olympics date 'as soon as possible'

Cycling's governing body, the UCI, said in a statement released on Tuesday evening that it was satisfied that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games had been postponed due to the coronavirus crisis, "in the health and sporting interests of the athletes, as well as all concerned people and parties".

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a conference call with IOC president Thomas Bach and Organising Committee president Yoshiro Mori. 9 this year, were postponed to 2021 earlier in the day, the first such delay in the Games' 124-year modern history, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Olympic organisers have finally seen sense as Canada and Australia withdrew from competing, many countries closed their borders and were placed in lockdown, and pressure increased from the respective athlete communities to postpone the Games.

The 2020 Games were delayed until "no later than summer 2021" by the International Olympic Committee and Japanese Prime Minister Sinzo Abe earlier on Tuesday, but Estanguet said the first postponement of an Olympics during peacetime would not affect the Paris edition, which will now be staged three years after the Tokyo event.

"It was the best decision for the athletes, for all the players in the Games", added Estanguet.

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"President Trump repeatedly said the postponement was a very wise and great decision and he expressed support for the Prime Minister's stance", chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga, a leading spokesperson for the Japanese Government, said at a press conference, as reported by Kyodo News.

"It is disappointing for sure, but when you think about the health of athletes as well as spectators, I understand.

We are committed to playing our role in making "Tokyo 2020" next year a success".

Top American Olympic cyclists are voicing support for the decision to delay the Tokyo Olympic Games.

"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", the IOC's Tuesday statement read.

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