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COVID-19: New Zealand athletes call for Tokyo Olympic postponement

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New Zealand Olympic and Paralympic Athletes have said they support the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Kiwi Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith said she welcomed the feedback gathered in a New Zealand Athletes' Commission survey and thanked athletes for their input.

"Our focus is first and foremost the athletes. We value their resilience and flexibility and we know working through the changes won't be easy," Smith said in an official statement.

On Monday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound had indicated that the event may be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"I see no other rational interpretation of the statements made by the IOC yesterday. If there was to be a cancellation, that would have been easy to announce; if carrying on with the original plan, there was no need for communication. That leaves postponement," CNN had quoted Pound as saying

Paralympics New Zealand boss Fiona Allan said, "Paralympians and Para athletes believed a postponement of the Paralympic Games is the preferred option. This would create a fair, safe and level playing field for all nations especially given the severely hampered training environments.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 24 2020. 12:55 IST