World champs de­lay on cards

Pretoria News - - SPORT -

GLOBAL ath­let­ics chief Se­bas­tian Coe has in­di­cated that next year’s World Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships, sched­uled to be held in Eu­gene, Ore­gon, the US, could slip to 2022 as a con­se­quence of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics be­ing post­poned for a year due to the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

“Al­ready we’ve been in dis­cus­sion with the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee in Ore­gon about shift­ing the date and maybe even dis­cussing mov­ing it to 2022 to ac­com­mo­date the need for an Olympic Games next year,” Coe, World Ath­let­ics pres­i­dent, told Sky Sports tele­vi­sion this week.“We all have to be flex­i­ble; we’re liv­ing in very un­cer­tain times and this is go­ing to take a lot of thinking about.”

Any de­ci­sion on dates would have towait, how­ever, for the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee to state ex­actly when the Tokyo Games would take place. On Tuesday the IOC said the July 24-Au­gust 9 Games would be held no later than the sum­mer of 2021.

Coe, who chaired the Lon­don 2012 Games or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee, said the de­ci­sion to post­pone Tokyo was “by a dis­tance” the right one even if sort­ing out the cal­en­dar would be a huge task.

“The world is in a re­ally dif­fi­cult, dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion. We wrote to the IOC on Sun­day af­ter I’d met with all my con­ti­nen­tal pres­i­dents; I’d spo­ken to my coun­cil and at length to the ath­letes,” he said.

“And it was re­ally the ath­letes, for us, that made this de­ci­sion the right de­ci­sion.

“If you are fight­ing to pre­serve the in­tegrity of com­pe­ti­tion, which is re­ally an Olympic value, then to have ath­letes that are sim­ply locked in their houses and not able to train or use pub­lic fa­cil­i­ties... then clearly the in­tegrity of the com­pe­ti­tion was go­ing to dis­ap­pear.” | Reuters

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