The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday announced the postponement of 2020 Tokyo Olympics by a year to the summer of 2021 amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju welcomed the IOC’s decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics saying it is necessary for the well-being of athletes from across the world.
"I urge our athletes not to lose heart. We'll create better opportunities so that we can have India's best medal tally in 2021," he said.
India’s Tokyo-bound athletes have also welcomed the IOC’s decision. Here's what they said:Mary Kom, Boxing
Mary Kom, a six-time world champion and London 2012 bronze medallist, took to Twitter to write: "Excellent and right decision."
Excellent and right decision https://t.co/CwoS1ktJVy— Mary Kom (@MangteC) March 24, 2020
Neeraj Chopra during a javelin throw event (File Photo: Reuters)Neeraj Chopra, Javelin thrower
- I think this was a welcome decision for us athletes in the circumstances and not something that came as a surprise. While we were looking forward to Tokyo 2020, the environment wouldn't have been appropriate for the event to be celebrated the way it should be.
- I would say we should look at this positively as it would allow us a year more to plan and train for the Olympics, which is the biggest sporting event for many athletes. There will be some impact on preparations over the next few months until the situation is brought under control, but that is something that all athletes are facing equally.
- For now, I'm not thinking about the qualification; there are experts at the IOC and World Athletics who will take everything into consideration before making a decision.
- So, I think it would be best at this point for us to all focus on overcoming this challenging situation with our health intact for now, and then work towards the Olympics next year depending on the eventual decision that is taken.
Saina Nehwal. Photo: PTISaina Nehwal, Badminton
It's a good decision by IOC. For all the athletes who have qualified and for all the athletes who haven't n still waiting to participate in the remaining qualifiers. Considering the current situation all around the world, every athlete will be at peace now. Safety first
I told earlier as well that postponing the Olympics will be the right thing to do looking at the present scenario. Every athlete's health comes first, so as a result, I would say this is a good decision as coronavirus has put the entire world in a lockdown.
Vikas Krishan, Boxing
At the end of the day, humanity has to trump sport, so I'm happy that the decision was made to postpone the Olympics amidst the coronavirus situation. Obviously, the postponement will affect our preparation, but I think the extra time can help me prepare even better for my goal to win an Olympic Gold for India. I think it is important for all athletes to keep their focus and motivation and use this time to do whatever we can in terms of diet, nutrition and training so that hopefully, when the Olympics comes by next year, we will be in an even better condition to win medals for the country.