New dates for Tokyo Olympics confirmed for 2021

FILE: The Olympic Flame Arrival Ceremony for 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games is held at JASDF Matsushima Airbase in Higashimatsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture on March 20, 2020. Although Japanese former Judo Olympian Tadahiro Nomura and former Wrestling Olympian Saori Yoshida could not attend the torch relay at Panathinaiko Stadium in Greece due to avoid the outbreak of the new coronavirus COVID-19, they received the torch carried from Greece. ( The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images )

The postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed.

According to  a CNN report, an agreement was reached on Monday after a call between leaders from the IOC, Tokyo 2020 organizers, the Japanese government and the International Paralympic Committee.

The Summer Games had been scheduled to run from July 24 to August 8 this year, but it was announced last week by Bach and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the Olympics had been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The new dates for the Paralympic Games are August 24 to September 5, 2021, according to CNN.

“Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel,” Bach said in a statement. “These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel.

“With this announcement, I am confident that, working together with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese Government and all our stakeholders, we can master this unprecedented challenge.”

The IOC says the decision on the new dates was taken “to protect the health of the athletes and everyone involved, and to support the containment of the COVID-19 virus.”

It believes the new dates — exactly a year later than originally scheduled — will provide the least disruption to an already crowded 2021 sporting calendar, while also giving athletes enough time to complete the qualification process.

“I am convinced that taking this decision promptly will help speed up future preparations,” said Tokyo 2020 president Mori Yoshirō.

The Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) had said that it welcomes the decision by the IOC to reschedule the Tokyo Olympic Games in the best interest of the public and the athletes.

The GOA in a statement had said the decision of the president of the IOC and the Japanese Prime Minister was as a result of the information emanating from the WHO, that although there was a decrease of the cases of Coronavirus in China and Asia there was however an acceleration of cases in other parts of the world and as such there should be a rescheduling of the Games.

It is the first time in history that the Olympics have been postponed during peacetime, with the Games in 1916, 1940 and 1944 canceled because of world wars, CNN said.