Postponed Olympics set for July 23 2021 start

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have been rescheduled to start on July 23, 2021 after being postponed due to coronavirus, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed.

The Games will run until August 8, taking up the same slot as originally scheduled for 2020, while the Paralympic Games will now take place from August 24 to September 5.

“These new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organisation of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” a joint statement from the IOC, International Paralympic Committee, Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and Japanese Government read.

“The new dates, exactly one year after those originally planned for 2020 also have the added benefit that any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum, in the interests of the athletes and the international federations.

“Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process. The same heat mitigation measures as planned for 2020 will be implemented.”

The Executive Board of the Organisers of Tokyo 2020 met on Monday and announced the required number of volunteers had been reached, and will now be asking those who have confirmed their roles if they would participate in the rescheduled Games.

Torchbearers who were confirmed for the postponed Torch Relay will also be given priority selection for next year’s Olympic Torch Relay.

Organisers are working on measures to ensure purchased tickets will be valid for corresponding rescheduled events next year and that face value refunds are given to ticket holders who cannot attend events in 2021.

In addition, the organisers have announced all 18 Olympic Test events from April 2020 onwards are postponed.

World Athletics president Lord Sebastian Coe has suggested the 2021 World Championships could be delayed by a year to accommodate the Tokyo Games.

The next Athletics World Championships are scheduled to take place in Eugene, Oregon in August 2021 but Coe says the event may need be moved to avoid clashing with the Olympics.

“At this stage, it’s fair to say nothing is on the table, nothing is off the table,” he said.

“We have already had good discussions with Oregon and what I can report is Oregon are very clear that they will do whatever they can to help in our deliberations on this.

“No hard and fast decisions have been made. It may well be that one of the options is to move into 2022, but that’s where our discussions are now taking place.”

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