Athletics Sports

Fears of Olympic Games postponement rise as athletes voice concerns amid coronavirus pandemic

Japanese Government officials today admitted that allowing the Tokyo Olympics to take place “would not make sense” if other countries were unable to send their athletes to the Games.

Despite the previous insistence from the International Olympic Committee that the Games were still going ahead as planned, there has been increasing scepticism in the host nation.

Yesterday, deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso admitted for the first time that the Olympics could go ahead only if all nations were able to travel to the event amid fears over COVID-19. He said: “As the Prime Minister said, it’s desirable to hold the Olympics in an environment where everyone feels safe and happy. But that’s not something Japan alone can decide.”

IOC were consulting today with national Olympic committees and international sports federations over the impact of the coronavirus on the Games and various qualification events. Nearly half of the athletes at the Games have still not officially qualified.

But in a statement yesterday, the IOC said: “We remain fully committed to Tokyo 2020 and, with more than four months to go before the Games, there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage. Any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive.”

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