By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
THE new date for the Tokyo Olympics is set for the summer of 2021 and organisers plan to finalise the framework for the way forward by the end of May.
“Since the postponement of Tokyo 2020 to 2021 was agreed a few weeks ago, the strong spirit of collaboration between the IOC, the IPC, the Olympic Movement, Tokyo 2020 and the Japanese authorities has already allowed us to bring some clarity and certainty to athletes, fans and stakeholders around the world. The principles outlined today will allow us to continue in this spirit, and to answer the many questions that remain, in as efficient a manner as possible,” IOC coordination commission chair John Coates said.
“We believe that the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times, and that the Olympic flame can be the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present.”
The Tokyo Organising Committee and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) hosted a teleconference to discuss the project review and addressed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as organisational resources and priorities shift to the newly proposed date.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, The Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Government of Japan decided on July 23 to August 8 2021 for the Tokyo Games.
A new date has also been set for the Paralympic Games, August 24 to September 5, 2021.
“Now that it has been formalised and the new dates chosen, the practicalities of moving the event can begin in earnest, in partnership with everyone involved. Outlining what needs to be done, Pierre Ducrey, Olympic Games operations director, said: “It’s a very complex jigsaw puzzle of negotiations with private and public parties and a number of stakeholders in the Olympic Movement, to ensure that we have everything that we need.”
Olympic Games executive director Christophe Dubi said the group will attempt to resolve serveral issues including athlete well being, difficulties with training under restricted conditions, the international sporting calendar and a myriad of other factors.
“We were fortunate to be working with a very good organising committee and were able to navigate through complicated discussions because everyone was speaking with one voice: the IOC, the Organising Committee, the City of Tokyo and the government of Japan.
“This alignment between all parties really helped us to make the right decision at the same time,” he said. “Clearly there is no way you can do something like this unless all stakeholders are on board. The Olympic Movement has walked in unison through this crisis, and the support we got was remarkable. It was understood by everybody that this was the best thing to do in this context.
“I think it shows that the unity of the Olympic Movement is very strong. When we combine the capabilities and the commitments at the highest level, including of the IOC and the entire Olympic family, we can be confident. A postponement is never ideal, but at least we have all the conditions in place to deliver the best event possible, so we have a lot of confidence that we are going to deliver great Games next year.”
The IOC released its rewritten roadmap for qualifying for the games. The new deadline for qualifying is June 29, 2021, and entry lists are due a week later.
Individual international sports federations will still be in charge of their qualifying procedures.
Many sports allow athletes to qualify by compiling results over a series of events. The IOC urged the federations to find a balance “between protecting those athletes who were close to qualifying based on the previous 2020 deadlines and also ensuring the best athletes at the Olympic Games” by taking into consideration performances in 2021.
World Athletics announced it was shutting down all qualifying procedures through November 30. Its new window for qualifying will run from December 1 through June 29, 2021.