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Tokyo 2020 postponement "opportunity" to change Games timing for equestrian chief

AFP  |  Paris 

The president of the International Federation for Equestrian (FEI) said on Tuesday the postponement of the Tokyo Games is a chance for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to change the period of the year for the event.

Earlier, the IOC postponed this summer's Olympics due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic to "a date not later than summer 2021".

FEI chief Ingmar de Vos urged the organisers to "find a date where there will be less heat and less humidity."

Next summer, the Games could be jostling for space in an increasingly crowded schedule that includes the world championships in both athletics and swimming as well as the football European championships, also postponed from this summer.

While World Athletics and swimming's governing body, FINA, quickly indicated they could move their events, the FEI, which has long been worried about the heat in Tokyo, lobbied for the Olympics to rethink its dates.

The Games had been scheduled for July 24-August 9, when temperatures in the Japanese capital can pass 30 celsius.

"We were ready, more than ready, we made all the scientific research to understand the impact of the heat and the humidity on our horses," de Vos told AFP.

"But why not, for the IOC to look at it again and choose dates which are better from a weather point of view. It's maybe an opportunity.

"We support the approach to make the most of the chance to find a date where there will be less heat and less humidity," he added.

Belgian Vos said the Olympics would have to be moved forward from it's July-August slot to improve weather conditions for his sport.

"I was contacted by the IOC this afternoon. One thing is clear, the Games should take place at the latest in summer 2021. The priority is the health of the athletes and also the whole population," Vos said.

De Vos was not the only one fretting about the Olympic dates, fellow Belgian Victor Campenaerts, the one-hour cycling record holder, welcomed the postponement on Tuesday, but made clear he wanted to race in the heat of summer.

"There were rumours about the Olympics taking place in November or December," Campenaerts said.

"But I think it would be really strange to have summer Olympics in winter.

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

First Published: Wed, March 25 2020. 09:38 IST
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