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Breaking: Tokyo Olympics postponed till 2021 over coronavirus concerns



Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has revealed Olympics chief Thomas Bach is on board with the Tokyo2020 Games being delayed by one year due to the coronavirus crisis.

An influential International Olympic Committee member revealed on Monday night a decision had been made to postpone Tokyo 2020 — with the Games now set to be held next summer. 

It now seems the move has the support of the Japanese government after Abe told the IOC his nation would accept a delay to the Games of 12 months in a conference call on Tuesday, accordingtoNHK.

Abe made the announcement during a call with IOC president Thomas Bach and Organising Committee chief Yoshiro Mori.

Reuters later claimed Abe ‘agreed with Bach to hold the Olympic games at the latest by the summer of 2021’. 

It follows comments by Powell that the Games would not be taking place this summer.

Pound said: ‘On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided. The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.

‘It will come in stages. We will postpone (the Games) and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving them, which are immense.’

Responding to Pound’s comments, the IOC said in a statement: ‘It is the right of every IOC member to interpret the decision of the IOC executive board, which was announced on Sunday.’ 

On Sunday, the IOC gave themselves a four-week deadline to decide on the best course of action and ruled out cancelling the Olympics altogether.

That sparked a backlash from athletes risking their health by training for the scheduled July start — and led to Britain, Canada and Australia warning they would not send teams this summer.   

Abe and US president Donald Trump will also likely hold talks over the phone as early as Wednesday, according to Kyodo news agency, with the Olympics high on the agenda. 

There have now been just under 400,000 cases of coronavirus worldwide with more than 17,000 deaths. 

Britain’s five-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave told Sportsmail that postponing the Games by a year is the best solution because of the risk of coronavirus spreading. 

Redgrave is directly affected by the International Olympic Committee’s decision as he is working as the high-performance director of China’s national rowing team. 

He said: ‘I certainly believe that a year’s delay makes a lot of sense. It gives people the time to potentially get back into training and preparation and get their lives back on track. Hopefully the situation in 12 months’ time will be a lot better than it is now.

‘I would also guess that it would be easier to have a total year delay, than it is a potential October date, with all the processes of road closures and logistics from the city’s point of view.

‘Until there is a vaccine for coronavirus, the chances are it could bounce back at any stage, so you would hope that any sports body would be very cautious about staging any event at this particular time.

‘But what we are going through is much, much bigger than sport. As a former athlete and somebody who is a performance director, it is very much at my heart.   

‘But the reality is it is about getting the world safe and getting through this trauma that we are going through, which is unprecedented. We want people to be safe and healthy whatever walk of life they are in.’ 

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