Confirmed new dates for Tokyo Olympics: July 23 to Aug 8, 2021
The Tokyo Olympics will take place from July 23 next year, organisers confirmed yesterday, after the coronavirus pandemic forced the historic decision to postpone the Games until 2021.
The announcement comes less than a week after the organisers were forced to delay the Games under heavy pressure from athletes and sports federations as the global outbreak worsened.
"The Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021. The Paralympics will be held from August 24 to September 5," Tokyo 2020 chief Yoshiro Mori said at a hastily arranged evening news conference.
Only hours earlier, Mori had said he expected a decision from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) this week.
But yesterday evening, he said an emergency teleconference had been held with the IOC and the dates finalised.
"We agreed that the timing of the event will be in summer as originally planned, considering the coronavirus... and a certain amount of time needed for preparations, selection and qualification of athletes," he added.
In a statement, the IOC said the new dates would give health authorities and organisers "the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic".
The decision would also cause "minimum" disruption to the international sports calendar, it added.
In support of the IOC, World Athletics moved its World Championships to the summer of 2022. They were initially scheduled from Aug 6 to 15 next year in Oregon.
Swimming's international federation Fina will also follow suit by moving next year's World Aquatics Championships, which was supposed to be held in Fukuoka, Japan, from July 16 to Aug 1. - AFP