Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games postponed by one year because of coronavirus

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In an unprecedented development, the organisers of this year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics Games have decided to postpone both the sporting extravaganza by one year due to coronavirus pandemic. Even the Olympic games have been rescheduled for 2021, the event will still be called Tokyo 2020.

Tokyo 2020
Photo by Aflo/Shutterstock
The Olympic Rings adorn an event square which opens at Tokyo’s Nihonbashi to mark just one year to the start of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Tokyo Olympic Games One Year to Go, Japan – 24 Jul 2019

The joint statement by the organisers of Tokyo 2020 and the International Olympic Committee said, “The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating. On Monday, the director general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the COVID-19 pandemic is ‘accelerating’.”

The statement added, “There are more than 375,000 cases now recorded worldwide and in nearly every country, and their number is growing by the hour.

“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today (Tuesday), 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.”

Some of the high-profile sporting events already being cancelled due to the global outbreak of coronavirus are Euro 2020 football championship, Masters golf and the French Open tennis. Given the number of cases being reported from the UK, this year’s Wimbledon championship too may have to cancelled. English Premier League matches have already been postponed.

This year’s summer Olympic games were expected to start on 24 July in Japan.

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