The 2020 Olympic Games have been postponed until the summer of 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today confirmed.

The Games were scheduled to begin in Tokyo in July of this year.

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“The focus for Team Ireland now will be on protecting and safeguarding the Irish athletes over the coming months and ensuring that they can bounce back to full training and be in peak condition for a successful Games in 2021, said the Olympic Federation of Ireland.

The Olympic Federation of Ireland CEO, Peter Sherrard welcomed the call, acknowledging the complexities involved in postponing the Games.

He said: “This is the right call given the times that we are in. Nonetheless, we recognize it was a difficult call for Japan to make, and we are looking forward to working with the IOC and countries all over the world to make Tokyo 2021 a poignant moment for the whole world once these difficult times are over.”

Tokyo Chef de Mission Tricia Heberle added: “This decision, while totally appropriate, will impact on sport and our athletes in different ways, there will be mixed emotions.

“Our focus is to continue to engage with and support our sports as we gather as much information to determine how this will impact on both athletes who have already qualified and those who are on the path to qualification.”