CONFIRMED: Olympics postponed until 2021
NEWS: The BlitzBoks will have to wait another year to contest for the Olympic Sevens title after Tokyo Games officials decided to postpone the event until 2021.
The 2020 showpiece was originally scheduled to be held from July 24 to August 9 in Tokyo, has been rescheduled to a date no later than 2021.
The announcement comes after a meeting on Tuesday between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and IOC chief Thomas Bach amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
The joint statement by IOC-Tokyo Organising Committee read: “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 statement added: “The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.”
The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, originally scheduled to be held from 24 July-9 August 2020, will “be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021.”https://t.co/MZrvZAqipL
— Olympic Channel (@olympicchannel) March 24, 2020
There have been confirmed cases of the coronavirus in 165 countries with well over 300,000 people diagnosed so far.
Social distancing restrictions imposed by national governments across the globe have had a huge impact on athletes’ ability to prepare and train for the Games, and they had been crying out for the IOC to end the uncertainty and postpone.
The preparations of rugby teams for the Games have been hit by a series of Sevens Series postponements.
Earlier this week, Australia and Canada pulled out of this year’s Tokyo Olympics amid the coronavirus pandemic.