‘I feel like crying’
The host nation greeted the IOC’s decision to postpone the Games by up to a year with a disappointment and resignation.
Opinion polls taken before the announcement suggested Japanese people had already accepted that Tokyo 2020 would be sport’s biggest victim of the coronavirus pandemic. According to a Kyodo news poll last week, almost 70% of respondents said they did not expect the Games to go ahead this summer.
One Twitter user reacted with humour, posting an image of the “new” Tokyo 2020 logo with the zero crossed out in traditional Japanese style. Others voiced disappointment that they would have to wait another year to watch their favourite athletes compete in
Tokyo. “I’ve been looking forward to the Olympics and feel like crying,” one user tweeted.
“But I understand it’s inevitable under the circumstances. My heart goes out to the athletes who have been striving to make the Olympics over the past four years – or even six-and-a-half years since Tokyo was chosen as the host city.”
Yuji Ota, vice president of the Japan Fencing Federation, thanked everyone who had been involved in the preparations for the Olympics, telling them in a post: “What you have done means a lot.”
He added. “But first we have to get through coronavirus. Health must come first.”
Benoît Vêtu, the head coach of the Japanese track cycling team, said the International Olympic Committee had made the right decision. “It’s only just been announced, so I don’t know exactly how the riders feel about it, but we’ll discuss it in the morning during training,” Vêtu told the Guardian.
“I know for sure that they will stay motivated for another year. We have a very big group with some talented riders, and now they have an extra year to keep improving.”
▲ In 2013 Shinzo Abe cheered the IOC decision to award Japan the Games