Olympic 2020 is no certainty for next year |15 April 2020
The Tokyo 2020 Games which were postponed last month due to pressure from member countries as a result of the coronavirus pandemic which is ravaging the world, now faces an uncertain future and no final decision has been made by the organising committee.
In fact the chief executive of the organising committee of Tokyo 2020, Toshiro Muto, told the media that they are keeping their fingers crossed as they prepare for the games though they have no certainty that the conditions will be stable for the games to go ahead due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I don’t think anyone would be able to say if it is going to be possible to get it under control by next year or not and we are certainly not in a position to give you a clear answer,” Mr Muto told the press though he added that all efforts by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will go towards staging the summer Olympics and Paralympics games as rescheduled.
As a result of this statement, Sports NATION sought the views of Seychelles Olympics and Commonwealth Games Association (Socga) president Antonio Gopal who said that he can understand such statement though he remains confident the games will be held next year.
“We had expected this situation with this pandemic would have died down in two to three months but it is taking longer than we had foreseen though we know it is going to go away but we don’t know when, so the situation is quite difficult and therefore we cannot plan without considering the human factor as at the moment health and safety of everyone remains a top priority,” Mr Gopal told Sports NATION.
Socga president Gopal though noted that the hosting of the Olympic Games will take precedence over other sports which means if they are held next July, they won’t clash with any other major international sporting events.
Mr Gopal added that nonetheless our Olympic qualifiers should not be too bothered at this stage but rather focus on their preparation when things get back to normal and others should gear themselves for their qualifying competitions which will be rescheduled in the coming months.
“Normally the qualifying events for swimming and athletics would have ended this July but with the latest development and the postponement of the games, these athletes will have up to July next year to meet the qualifying standard though for boxing, there will be only one more competition to attain qualification but what is clear is that the athletes who benefit from the Olympic solidarity scholarship will continue to be assisted up to when the games are held,” Mr Gopal explained.
The long-serving Socga president stated that they don’t expect any budget cuts from the IOC and it is not yet known if IOC will be providing more assistance to its member nations due to the coronavirus pandemic though he knows that IOC is well-funded and provides for numerous organisations worldwide.
“For the time being we must just wait and see how things pan out with this pandemic but we must stay positive especially our athletes and they must maintain their training as far as possible,” advised Mr Gopal.
As for Seychelles’ only qualifier for the games, sailor Rodney Govinden, he also spoke to Sports NATION on this proclamation made by the Tokyo 2020 chief executive over the weekend.
“We still have to wait and see how the current situation pans out but I remain hopeful and focused for now,” two-time Sportsman of the Year Govinden said after he abandoned his training camp in Portugal to return home when the games were cancelled.
As for Sportswoman of the Year Felicity Passon who also had to put on hold her preparation in South Africa to be home during this pandemic, she had this to say to Sports NATION:
“Well nothing is guaranteed right now and I have accepted the uncertainty of everything. So we can only wait, be patient and hope for the best.”