TOKYO 2020 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC GAMES POSTPONED UNTIL 2021

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The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games have been postponed until 2021 due to the global coronavirus outbreak, the IOC and organisers of Tokyo 2020 announced in a joint statement on Tuesday.

The Olympic Games had been due to begin on 24 July, with the tennis event scheduled to run from 25 July – 2 August and the Paralympic Tennis Event running from 25 August – 5 September, but will now take place “no later than Summer 2021”.

The decision was taken on Tuesday morning following a conference call between the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, and Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo.

In a joint statement, the IOC and organisers of Tokyo 2020 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’. 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, 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 ITF fully supports the decision to postpone the games, which will still operate under the name of ‘Tokyo 2020’ despite the date change.

ITF president David Haggerty, said: “The global health situation continues to evolve at an extraordinary pace and we are faced with an unprecedented situation that calls for responsible leadership and making informed decisions. Whilst this is a bitter disappointment for all those who have been preparing and training hard, we all understand that the protection of human life, health and safety, comes first.

“The ITF supports this decision and will continue to collaborate fully with the IOC and the IPC going forward to 2021. We look forward to seeing all athletes, volunteers and fans when it is safe for us to meet and participate at our best at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.”

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