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OFI welcomes 'correct decision...
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OFI welcomes 'correct decision' to postpone 2020 Olympic Games

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

13:55 24 Mar 2020

The Olympic Federation of Ireland has welcomed the decision to postpone the 2020 Olympic Games until next year ' considering the current global crisis'.

The postponement of Tokyo 2020 until next year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, was confirmed at lunchtime on Tuesday.

The OFI released a statement shortly after the IOC confirmed the news.

"Given the fast developments around the world with the Covid-19 pandemic, makes this the correct decision under difficult circumstances," the statement reads.

"The focus for Team Ireland now will be on protecting and safeguarding the Irish athletes over the coming months and ensuring that they can bounce back to full training and be in peak condition for a successful Games in 2021."

The Olympic Federation of Ireland CEO, Peter Sherrard also welcomed the call, acknowledging the complexities involved in postponing the Olympic Games.

"This is the right call given the times that we are in," said Sherrard.

"Nonetheless we recognize it was a difficult call for Japan to make, and we are looking forward to working with the IOC and countries all over the world to make Tokyo 2021 a poignant moment for the whole world once these difficult times are over."

The joint statement released by the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Commmittee also said that the Olympic Games "must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes".

Tokyo Chef de Mission Tricia Heberle is concerned about the impact that the news could have on Irish athletes who have been working hard to get ready for their trip to Tokyo.

"This decision, while totally appropriate, will impact on sport and our athletes in different ways, there will be mixed emotions," said Heberle.

"Our focus is to continue to engage with and support our sports as we gather as much information to determine how this will impact on both athletes who have already qualified and those who are on the path to qualification."

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