New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said that he welcomes the International Olympic Committee's decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics to 2021. The IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee on Tuesday said in a joint statement that the committee's president Thomas Bach and Abe agreed that the Games have to be “rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021.”
“I welcome the decision of IOC to postpone #Tokyo2020 in view of the global pandemic,” said Rijiju in his tweet. “It's 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.”
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) said earlier in the day that it welcomes the postponement and will meet with athletes and other stakeholders after the end of the lockdown. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the country will be under complete lockdown starting on 12am Wednesday.
“IOA welcomes the decision of the IOC,” said the association in its statement. “Discussions were held by IOC with organisers and all stakeholders prior to this. Soon after the lock down is over, IOA would be holding meetings with athletes, federations, sponsors, etc. to revise plans. This decision today, relieves our athletes of worries of having to train now during epidemic and perform their best in 4 months from now.”