THE 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have been postponed to 2021 due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
The news broke at lunchtime today (Tuesday) following a conference call between the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, and the Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo.
For the first time ever, Ireland had three equestrian teams qualified for the Olympics in eventing, show jumping and dressage.
The Games will take place no later than summer 2021, the statement said. “In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.”
The Olympic Federation of Ireland (OFI) welcomes the decision. “This is the right call given the times that we are in. Nonetheless we recognize it was a difficult call for Japan to make, and we are looking forward to working with the IOC and countries all over the world to make Tokyo 2021 a poignant moment for the whole world once these difficult times are over, ” Peter Sherrard, CEO of the Olympic Federation of Ireland said.
Tokyo Chef de Mission Tricia Heberle added: “This decision, while totally appropriate, will impact on sport and our athletes in different ways, there will be mixed emotions. Our focus is to continue to engage with and support our sports as we gather as much information to determine how this will impact on both athletes who have already qualified and those who are on the path to qualification.”
See Saturday's The Irish Field for more news and reaction.