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Pressure mounts on IOC to postpone Olympics

Fan favourite: While there has been a clamour for the Games to be deferred, locals in Japan see the Olympic flame as a ray of hope. From taking selfies to queuing up patiently for their turn with the flame, the Japanese are showing what a big draw the Olympics is.

Fan favourite: While there has been a clamour for the Games to be deferred, locals in Japan see the Olympic flame as a ray of hope. From taking selfies to queuing up patiently for their turn with the flame, the Japanese are showing what a big draw the Olympics is.  

Organisers drafting possible alternatives to holding the Games: sources

The International Olympic Committee faced mounting opposition on Sunday to the current schedule for the Tokyo 2020 Games as athletes, teams and federations called for a delay because of the coronavirus pandemic.

IOC President Thomas Bach, who has insisted the Games will go ahead as planned, said any decision to change an Olympic Games was not a simple matter like rescheduling a soccer match and would need careful planning and information.

Also read: Will the Tokyo Olympics open? Here's what the odds say

He also ruled out cancelling the July 24-Aug. 9 Games.

Sources told Reuters on Sunday, however, that Tokyo Games organisers had started drafting possible alternatives to holding the Olympics this summer. “Finally, we have been asked to make a simulation in case of a postponement,” a source close to the organising committee who is involved in drafting the scenarios said.

Plan B, C, D

“We are making alternative plans — plan B, C, D — looking at different postponement time-frames,” said the official, adding the scenarios included cost estimates for different delays.

Pressure mounts on IOC to postpone Olympics
 

Other sources within the Olympic movement said the IOC was likely to hold an unscheduled executive board meeting as early as next week. One source told Reuters the meeting could be “very, very early next week.” The IOC did not comment.

Also read: Tokyo 2020: IOC to follow WHO advice on Olympics cancellation

Hartung to boycott

Serbia and Croatia joined the Olympic committees and sports bodies opposing the IOC’s plans to proceed, while German former world champion fencer Max Hartung, who has already qualified for Tokyo, said he would boycott the Games.

“Japan has invested a lot of resources into the Olympics and they are adamant that the Games should go ahead, but that defies common sense and we cannot support it because human lives come first,” Serbian Olympic Committee president Vanja Udovicic said.

His Croatian counterpart, Zlatko Matesa, said it was “impossible” to proceed with the Olympics under the current circumstances.

Germany’s Hartung, a four-times European champion who also heads the German Olympic Committee’s athletes’ commission, said he could no longer justify competing in Tokyo and said everyone had to play their part in stopping the spread of the virus. “I have taken my decision. This summer I will not be taking part at the Olympic Games at the scheduled dates,” he told German broadcaster ZDF.

USA Track and Field, USA Swimming, the Brazilian Olympic Committee, UK Athletics and the French Swimming Federation have also urged the IOC to postpone the multi-billion dollar event.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 4:48:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/pressure-mounts-on-ioc-to-postpone-olympics/article31136105.ece

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