New Delhi: Indian boxer Mary Kom has welcomed International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) “right decision” to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics due to coronavirus outbreak.
Kom, a six-time world champion and London 2012 bronze medallist, took to Twitter to write: “Excellent and right decision.”
For the first time in the history of the mega global event, the Olympics are being postponed by a year.
The decision was confirmed by the IOC after the organising body for the event and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday agreed to reschedule the Tokyo Olympics in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” the IOC had said in an official statement.
The Tokyo Olympic Games were slated to be held from July 24 to August 9, while the Paralympic Games were scheduled to be held from August 25 to September 6.
The Indian men and women’s hockey team captains expressed their disappointment but vowed to continue to stay committed to their goals.
“We had just finished the day’s evening session when chief coach Graham Reid informed us about the postponement of the Olympic Games. Though, somewhere at the back of our minds we anticipated this could happen considering the impact COVID-19 has made across the globe, we had never let it affect our training or the intensity needed in every session,” said men’s team skipper Manpreet Singh.
The Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams have shaped up well over the course of the last year, winning big competitions such as the FIH Series Finals and the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in front of the home crowd in November last year. The men’s team made a fine start to the season this year with fantastic outing in the FIH Hockey Pro League while the women’s team was stoked after their tour to New Zealand earlier this year.
There is a sense of disappointment in the Indian camp due to the postponement of the Olympic Games, but they are motivated to continue to put in the hard yards for the quadrennial event next year.
Expressing her team’s disappointment over the announcement, women’s skipper Rani Rampal emphasised that her side will utilise the next one year to hone their skills further ahead of the Olympic Games in 2021.
“We were already in a meeting when chief coach Sjoerd Marijne received the news and broke it to us on Tuesday evening. Personally, I was very disappointed because the team was in good rhythm to do well at the Tokyo Olympics. But if you see our team’s performance in the past two years in specific, we have grown from strength to strength, challenging every top team in the world. We are looking at this postponement as a positive to continue to work hard and take our game to the next level” Rani said.