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Tokyo Olympics to start on July 23 next year, Paralympics gets two-day extension 

Japanese government and IOC agreed to postpone the Olympic Games
Japanese government and IOC agreed to postpone the Olympic Games
Modified 30 Mar 2020, 10:05 IST

Days after the International Olympic Council (IOC) succumbed to international pressure by postponing Tokyo Olympics 2020 to next year, the local Olympic and Paralympic organising committees have come to a mutual decision about the dates for the 2021 edition.

Sources close to Sportskeeda can confirm that the announcement about the dates is likely to happen earlier than expected, despite the IOC claiming it could take weeks to make a final decision.

Several international federations including FINA, ITTF, and FEI had requested IOC to host the sporting extravaganza in the spring of 2021, owing to the hot and sultry conditions of Tokyo in July. However, it looks like the dates will only be changed by a couple of days.

The opening day is likely to be on July 23, 2021 instead of July 24, 2020 which was the finalised date for this year's edition. This would essentially move forward all proceedings by one day, making it only a minute change on the already packed sporting calendar of 2021.

To accommodate the new dates several sporting events such as the FIFA Club World Cup, Wimbledon, World Aquatics Championships (Swimming), Summer X Games and IAAF World Championship (Athletics) will have to be postponed. This could prove to be a logistical nightmare for the IOC, who have postponed the Games for the first time in its 124-year modern history.

That being said, several of world sport's top bosses including IAAF President Sebastian Coe have extended their support in postponing the major tournaments. In fact, Coe went on record saying that the IAAF World Championship edition to be held in the USA could be postponed to 2022, to accommodate the Tokyo Games.

The Paralympics Games, which were supposed to be held between August 25 - September 6 this year has been postponed to August 24 in 2021. It will end on September 8, adding two days to the planned edition from 2020.

Our source stated, "You can expect an announcement by the end of next week, as the local committee is now running the dates through IOC and will most likely propose this formally on Monday. Present in video meeting will also be members for Tokyo's metropolitan government, but not sure how many of them will be present as they are currently dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic as well.
"These dates will also be run through the international governing bodies. They are working really actively on this, so that there are not logistical issues once the pandemic reduces. Several IOC members have already given a verbal vote of confidence, " the source added.

After the dates are announced, the next step for IOC will be to reschedule the suspended Olympic qualification tournaments, which will complete 43% of the remaining athlete contingent. IOC President Thomas Bach has already confirmed that the 2020 Tokyo qualified athletes will get to keep their berths for next year's delayed edition.

Published 29 Mar 2020, 09:14 IST
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