Tokyo Olympics 2020: MC Mary Kom, Eliud Kipchoge and other leading athletes hail IOC's decision to postpone Games
Here's a look at how some of the leading athletes across the world reacted to the IOC's decision to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics until the summer of 2021.
The IOC announced a first-of-its-kind postponement of the Summer Olympics on Tuesday, bowing to the realities of a coronavirus pandemic that is shutting down daily life around the globe and making planning for a massive worldwide gathering in July a virtual impossibility.
The International Olympic Committee said the Tokyo Games “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.”
It was an announcement seen as all but a certainty as pressure mounted from nervous athletes, sports organizations and national Olympic committees — all forced to deal with training and qualifying schedules, to say nothing of international anti-doping protocols, that have been ruptured beyond repair.
Here’s a look at how leading athletes reacted to the latest development on the prestigious sporting event:
Indian medal hope MC Mary Kom describes it as “excellent”:
Excellent and right decision https://t.co/CwoS1ktJVy
— Mary Kom (@MangteC) March 24, 2020
Mary Kom’s views were echoed by veteran shuttler Saina Nehwal:
It’s a good decision by IOC . For all the athletes who have qualified and for all the athletes who haven’t n still waiting to participate in the remaining qualifiers . Considering the current situation all around the world , every athlete will be at peace now. Safety first . https://t.co/tQVANJ51XP — Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) March 24, 2020
Eliud Kipchoge, the man who broke the two-hour marathon barrier in 2019, looks forward to defending his Olympic marathon title in Tokyo in 2021:
All in all a very wise decision to postpone the Olympics until 2021. I look forward to come back to Japan to defend my Olympic title next year and look forward to witness a wonderful event. I wish everybody good health in these challenging times. pic.twitter.com/jrhsFEe545
— Eliud Kipchoge - EGH (@EliudKipchoge) March 24, 2020
Swimming star Katie Ledecky says “now is the time” for people to support those at the frontline battling the disease:
As we stand together to meet today’s challenges, we can dream about a wonderful Olympics in a beautiful country. Now is the time to support all those working to heal the sick and keep us all healthy. pic.twitter.com/RsLuidzeYw — Katie Ledecky (@katieledecky) March 24, 2020
An interesting perspective offered by British heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson:
Waited 8 years for this, what’s another 1 in the grand scheme of things? As an athlete, it’s heartbreaking news about the olympics being postponed until 2021, but it’s for all the right reasons and the safety of everyone! Hope everyone keeps safe and stay indoors x pic.twitter.com/z0JlgV2efI
— KJT (@JohnsonThompson) March 24, 2020
“No room in July for celebration” says Abhinav Bindra, India’s only individual gold medallist till date:
but like everything in sport the secret lies in timing and right now at least a postponement is appropriate. The rising dead are making for a mournful arithmetic and there is no room in July for celebration.” Lines BY @rohitdbrijnath #Tokyo2021 — Abhinav Bindra OLY (@Abhinav_Bindra) March 24, 2020
Team USA, the most decorated in the history of the Olympics, begin a ‘new path’:
Today, we begin our new path to Tokyo in 2021. pic.twitter.com/a6MAgvGGFt
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) March 24, 2020
Wrestler Bajrang Punia was also among those who welcomed the decision to postpone the Olympics due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With inputs from AP and ANI
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