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Bridging The Gap
‘Premature to postpone Olympics’
  Friday 20 March, 2020
‘Premature to postpone Olympics’

WASHINGTON:
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said it would be “premature” to postpone the Tokyo Games Thursday but admitted the body was “considering different scenarios” as the coronavirus pandemic advances.

The IOC will act on advice from its own taskforce and the World Health Organization, Bach told the New York Times, after a week when the IOC has weathered criticism over its response to the crisis.

But he remained optimistic about holding the Tokyo Olympics on schedule from July 24 to August 9, and said there was no question of canceling the Games altogether.

“Of course we are considering different scenarios, but we are contrary to many other sports organisations or professional leagues in that we are four-and-a-half months away from the Games,” Bach said.

“For us, (postponement) would not be responsible now and it would be premature to start speculation or make a decision at a time when we do not have any recommendation from the task force,” he added.

Speculation has been growing over the Games, scheduled to start on July 24, after the COVID-19 outbreak closed sports competitions around the world, and paralysed many countries along with international travel.

Olympic qualifiers are among the tournaments affected, with 43 percent of athletes yet to book their spots. But Bach said the situation was still too uncertain to make a decision about Tokyo.

“What makes this crisis so unique and so difficult to overcome is the uncertainty. Nobody today can tell you what the developments are tomorrow, what they are in one month, not to mention in more than four months,” he said.

“Therefore it would not be responsible in any way to set a date or take a decision right now, which would be based on the speculation about future developments.”

Athletes lashed out at IOC advice this week to continue training “as best they can”, with Olympic pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi accusing the body of “putting us in danger”.

Source: https://tribune.com.pk/story/2180331/7-premature-postpone-olympics/

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