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Australian athletes told to expect postponement of Tokyo Olympics

2020-03-23 07:14:25 GMT2020-03-23 15:14:25(Beijing Time) 

CANBERRA, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Australian athletes have been told to prepare for a Tokyo Olympic Games "in the northern summer of 2021".

The Australian Olympic Committee made the announcement on Monday. It said in a statement that this followed "the International Olympic Committee's announcement of a potential postponement of this year's Games and changes in public health landscape in Australia and across the globe."

At a meeting of the AOC's executive board on Monday, it was agreed that "an Australian team could not be assembled in the changing circumstances at home and abroad."

"We have athletes based overseas, training at central locations around Australia as teams and managing their own programs. With travel and other restrictions this becomes an untenable situation," the statement quoted AOC chief executive Matt Carroll as saying.

Ian Chesterman, Australian team Chef de Mission, said he communicated to athletes after receiving feedback from more than 25 sports last week.

"It's clear the Games can't be held in July," said Chesterman in the statement.

"Our athletes have been magnificent in their positive attitude to training and preparing, but the stress and uncertainty has been extremely challenging for them."

"We are aware that for many such a postponement will present a range of new issues. But when the world does come together at the Tokyo Olympic Games they can be a true celebration of sport and humanity," he added.

According to Chesterman, any postponement would lead to numerous issues, "from qualification through to logistics on the ground in Tokyo, but these can be worked through in a timely way."

The 2020 Olympic Games is currently scheduled to take place in Tokyo from 24 July to 9 August.

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