Japan’s Prime Minister and the head of the International Olympic Committee have agreed to postpone this summer’s Games in Tokyo by a year as the global coronavirus pandemic only worsens.
“I proposed to postpone for about a year and President Bach responded with 100 percent agreement,” said Shinzo Abe in reference to his talks with IOC Head, Thomas Bach.
It’s another massive blow to the sporting calendar struck by COVID-19 and one that it sure to hit Japan’s economy hard given the amount of work already completed in preparation for this year’s Games.
Tokyo has become the modern blueprint for a host city in terms of its preparation with venues finished to the finest detail way ahead of schedule and tickets long oversubscribed.
However, the old adage, if you build it, they will come has been thrown out the window by COVID-19 and on Monday, untold pressure mounted on the International Olympic Committee to postpone the Games after both Canada and Australia pulled out of this summer’s event.
Golf was reinstated to the Olympic programme in 2016 where Justin Rose collected the gold medal but the Englishman will have to wait another year to defend his title, as will Ireland’s dream team of Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry who would’ve entered the Games with live medal chances this summer.
“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,” read a joint statement from the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee.
You can find the full release HERE