Coronavirus: New date announced for postponed Tokyo Olympics

30 March 2020, 13:06

The Tokyo Olympics will now take place in June 2021
The Tokyo Olympics will now take place in June 2021. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

The new date for the Tokyo Olympics has been set for July 23, 2021, organisers have said.

The sporting event should have been taking place this summer, but was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Organising committee president Yoshiro Mori said the games would conclude on 8 August.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe requested a year-long delay to the Games earlier this month as the world grapples with the outbreak.

In a statement, the IOC said under "present circumstances" the tournament would be delayed until next year, but no later than the summer.

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It said: "The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating...

"In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community."

The statement also confirmed the Olympic flame would stay in Japan as a "beacon of hope" and the "light at the end of the tunnel in which the world find itself at present."

Next year's Games, it added, would still be called Tokyo 2020, despite being held in 2021.