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USA Swimming advocates for postponement of Tokyo Olympics 2020

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The USA Swimming has urged the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) to postpone the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics amid the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to USOPC Chief Executive Officer Sarah Hirshland, swimming federation chief executive Tim Hinchey requested the postponement of the Olympic Games by one year.

"It is with the burden of these serious concerns that we respectfully request that the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee advocate for the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 by one year," the letter read.

"There are no perfect answers and this will not be easy. However, it is a solution that provides a concrete path forward and allows all athletes to prepare for a safe and successful Olympic Games in 2021. We urge the USOPC, as a leader within the Olympic Movement, to use its voice and speak up for the athletes," it said.

Hinchey stated that athletes, coaches, staff, volunteers and other members health and safety is their top priority. "The swimmers are under tremendous pressure, stress and anxiety, and their mental health and wellness should be among the highest priorities," Hinchey said.

The US had clinched 33 medals in swimming in the Rio Olympic 2016.

The Tokyo Olympic games are slated to be held from July 24 to August 9. However, many athletes have raised concerns over the quadrennial event taking place despite the spread of the deadly virus.

Earlier on Wednesday, four-time Olympic rowing champion Matthew Pinsent suggested that the Tokyo Olympics should be called off due to the coronavirus outbreak.

On Tuesday, the IOC had said that they are 'fully committed' to the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympic and added that 'there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage' despite coronavirus outbreak.

"The IOC remains fully committed to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and with more than four months to go before the Games there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage, and any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive," IOC had said in a statement.

"The IOC encourages all athletes to continue to prepare for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as best they can," it added.

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

First Published: Sat, March 21 2020. 10:23 IST
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