Olympic Committee board member calls for postponement of Tokyo games

Monday, 23 Mar, 2020

The 2020 Olympics will not be postponed, with the Tokyo Games to either go ahead or be cancelled, according to Australia's chef de mission.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori had met with the deputy head of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) on March 10, who later tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said on Thursday.

Speaking at a welcoming ceremony on Friday at an air base in northern Japan, Tokyo Olympics organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori mentioned "the hard situation" caused by the virus while claiming that "We will ensure a safe and secure games". Yang joined as chair of the Athletes Commissions of Beijing 2022.

Japan had won the bid to host the Summer and Winter Olympics in 1940 - in Tokyo and Sapporo, respectively - but both Games were cancelled due to the Second World War.

According to Mr. Nunoo Mensah, after the last meeting held between all presidents of the various federations, the International Olympic Committee is studying the situation and will decide on whether the games will go ahead or not.

Right now, the organization is keeping close cooperation with relevant authorities including the World Health Organization to evaluate if the situation is suitable for hosting the Games. "We continue to be in close and regular dialogue with the WHO, the IOC, Tokyo 2020 and our own health experts".

Olympic bosses acknowledged on Wednesday there was no "ideal" solution as a growing number of athletes expressed concern.

Bach admitted he was "confronted with many questions" over qualification and restrictions.

"Of course we are considering different scenarios, but we are contrary to many other sports organisations or professional leagues in that we are four and a half months away from the Games".

"It's regrettable that I couldn't go (to the flame handover ceremony)".

The summer showpiece is scheduled to begin on 24 July despite the relentless cancellation of sporting events as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

"For us, while not knowing how long this tunnel will be, we would like the Olympic flame to be a light at the end of the tunnel", he said.

"We understand and respect that the situation is indeed very complicated for the Japanese health authorities, the OCOG and the IOC".

Office workers wearing masks walk past the emblem of Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Olympic boxing qualifying events have been postponed worldwide due to this pandemic.

"They, like us are, fully aware of the impact of the COVID-19 having on athlete preparation, their families, and the world community".