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Team GB welcome Tokyo postponement

Team GB welcome Tokyo postponement

24/03/2020 at 20:48Updated 25/03/2020 at 00:34

Team GB have welcomed the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to 2021.

In a joint statement, the British Olympic Association (BOA), British Paralympic Association (BPA) and UK Sport said they were pleased to hear the news of the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Chief Executive of the BOA Andy Anson said: "It is with profound sadness that we accept the postponement, but in all consciousness it is the only decision we can support, in light of the devastating impact COVID-19 is 2having on our nation, our communities and our families.

"Alongside UK Sport and the BPA, we have consulted with the National Governing Bodies of summer Olympic and Paralympic sports and with athlete representative groups, including our Athletes’ Commissions and the British Athletes’ Commission. It is with their input and support that we have a unanimous view that the impact of COVID-19 on athletes’ training and preparation means their regimes are now compromised irreparably. It is time for them to stop thinking about Tokyo 2020 for now and be home and safe with their families.

" It would have been unthinkable for us to continue to prepare for an Olympic Games at a time the nation and the world no less is enduring great hardship. A postponement is the right decision. "

Sally Munday, CEO of UK Sport, added: "I’d like to thank all our athletes who are playing a role in so many different ways in these challenging times, from supporting their local communities to inspiring us to stay active in our own homes. I’d also like to reassure the public that whilst the games are postponed, we strongly believe the power of sport will inspire the nation again.”

Mike Sharrock, CEO of the BPA, said: "We welcome the clarity this now gives Paralympic athletes throughout the world who have had their training and qualification plans severely disrupted but also recognise it will still be a deeply unsettling time for athletes who have worked for years focused on delivering their best possible performance in Tokyo this summer.

"Now is the time for us all to work together to overcome this global threat. Sport has a unique power to inspire and bring people together and we are certain that the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games can be that beacon of hope for the whole world to focus on to show what the human spirit can achieve.”

The statement also praised "the excellent organisation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games by the IOC, the Tokyo Organising Committee and the Government of Japan", and went on to say, "We remain committed to taking our Olympic and Paralympic athletes to Tokyo for the next edition of the summer Games, at the appropriate time, in the hope that it will be a celebration of the world re-emerging from this unprecedented time."