World Athletics president Sebastian Coe on Sunday feels the decision to postpone this year’s Tokyo Olympics 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic has saved athletes from ‘mental turmoil’. Former Olympic champion Coe supported the move to push the Games back to 2021 and said competitors would have been placed in an impossible position if the event had been left to start on July 24 as originally scheduled. Also Read - COVID-19: Situation May Get Worse And Worse, Warns WHO as Global Cases Near 13 Million
The 63-year-old believes that athletes would have been tempted to continue training despite large parts of the world being in lockdown due the COVID-19 pandemic, which has now killed more than 31,000 people. Also Read - Indian Boxing Team Doctor Tests Positive For COVID-19
“We didn’t want to have the athletes in a position where they were countering government advice, maybe even breaking the law,” Coe told TalkSport on Sunday. Also Read - Iran Reports 2,349 New Coronavirus Cases; Total Tally at 259,652
“And of course in the back of their minds was always that concern, it wasn’t just their own training programme, but that they ran the risk of effectively infecting themselves, their families, their kids, grandparents or parents, and we just wanted to take them out of that mental turmoil as quickly as we possibly could.
“We’re no different from everyone else out there but I think we just concluded that sport, on this occasion, had to take a back seat.”
Earlier, Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori had said it will be a ‘major challenge’ on deciding who covers the additional costs arising from the postponement of the Olympic Game. In a letter to the 33 Federations on the Tokyo 2020 programme, Mori has warned International Federations.
Mori gave references about the financial implications of delaying the Games until at least the summer of 2021. “The extra cost that will arise from this postponement is inevitable,” Mori writes as quoted by www.insidethegames.biz.
“Deciding who will bear these costs and how it will be done will be a major challenge.”
On Saturday, Mori had said that the new dates for the postponed Olympic could be decided by the end of next week.The Olympic Games, which will be held in the summer of 2021 at the latest, is most likely to be held between June and September, Mori said during a program broadcast by Nippon Television.
“I want to offer some conclusions by the end of next week, after we”ve mulled it over,” Mori said.
(With Agency Inputs)