Tokyo Olympics 2020: Japanese Olympic Committee president Yasuhiro Yamashita says focus is to make Games a success despite one-year delay

The Olympics were postponed on Tuesday to 2021, the first such delay in the Games’ 124-year modern history, as the coronavirus crisis wrecked the world’s last sporting showpiece still standing this year.

Press Trust of India March 25, 2020 10:41:29 IST
Tokyo Olympics 2020: Japanese Olympic Committee president Yasuhiro Yamashita says focus is to make Games a success despite one-year delay

Tokyo: Japanese Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita said on Wednesday the decision to postpone the Tokyo Games due to the coronavirus pandemic came quicker than expected but he wanted to make sure the event was a success after the one-year delay.

The Olympics were postponed on Tuesday to 2021, the first such delay in the Games’ 124-year modern history, as the coronavirus crisis wrecked the world’s last sporting showpiece still standing this year.

Tokyo Olympics 2020 Japanese Olympic Committee president Yasuhiro Yamashita says focus is to make Games a success despite oneyear delay

The Olympic flag is pictured at the entrance of the IOC headquarters. AP

Pressure had been building on the International Olympic Committee with some athletes and sporting bodies angry that a seemingly inevitable decision had taken so long but Yamashita told reporters it was now time to be positive and prepare.

Yamashita, a 62-year-old former judoka and 1984 Los Angeles Games gold medallist, also said that a one-year postponement was better than a two-year delay due to the qualification process.

The IOC’s decision to postpone came faster than he expected but he respected it from the perspective of achieving “safe and complete” Games.

“I am soon becoming 63, and there’s so many unimaginable or unexpected things in life,” said Yamashita, who missed out on the 1980 Moscow Olympics due to Japan’s boycott.

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