Tokyo Olympic Games Will Go Ahead, Says WA President - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Tokyo Olympic Games Will Go Ahead, Says WA President


WORLD Athletics (WA) President Sebastian Coe said there is a ‘cast-iron determination’ to deliver the Tokyo Olympics, with COVID-19 vaccines and ability of athletes to train meaning the situation is better than when the Games were postponed last year.


The Japanese government and IOC yesterday denied a report in Britain’s Times newspaper quoting an unnamed official as saying the Games would have to be cancelled.


“The government in Japan, the organising committee, the international federations and particularly the athletes are all unified in their determination to try to deliver a Games that is safe and secure,” Coe, himself a double Olympic 1 500 metres gold medallist, told Reuters.


“It’s a challenge but it’s the challenge that at this very moment all the key players are actually up for an that’s why I have a confidence, with the insights as an international federation – the No 1 Olympic sport – can bring to bear on that,” said Coe, who was head of the 2012 Games in London.


The Games were postponed from the summer of 2020 last March following the start of the pandemic but Coe said two big differences almost a year on left him confident they would go ahead from July 23.


“Firstly, there is the vaccine and we were a long way away from even thinking about that at this stage last year,” he said.


“And I know that at this stage (last year) athletes were beginning to find it really difficult to maintain their training regimes and that competitions were beginning to slide off the radar screen. Now they are having greater access both to training and competitions.”


“So there is an absolute cast-iron determination to deliver the Games but to deliver them in a safe and secure environment,” he said.


Coe conceded the event might have fewer spectators, or even none at all, and that competitors would spend less time in Tokyo and have to maintain social distancing. “At this moment we remain optimistic, but we know that this is going to be a Games that looks different, probably feels different,” he said.


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