Delayed Tokyo Olympics: Japan, IOC set July 23 next year as new date

Tokyo Olympics 23 July 2021

The postponed Olympic Games will now begin on July 23 next year and run until Aug. 8, the head of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee said on Monday.

Yoshiro Mori, the head of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, said this was inevitable as the coronavirus pandemic has made it impossible to plan for them properly this year.

The Games were postponed last week and the delay is the first in the 124-year history of the modern Olympics.

The postponement represents a huge blow for Japan, which invested 13 billion dollars in the run-up to the event, and raised three billion dollars from domestic sponsors.

Mori confirmed the new dates after he made the decision with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

He also said the Paralympic Games would run from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.

Earlier on Monday, the Games’ chief executive, Toshiro Muto, had said the committee was moving “in the direction” of honouring tickets bought for the 2020 Games at the rescheduled event.

He had said the committee could also provide refunds in case of scheduling changes.

“We want to honour the hopes of all those who purchased the tickets amid high demand,” Muto told a news conference.

But it was too early to say what the additional costs of the delay would be, Muto said.

The IOC and Japanese government succumbed to intense pressure from athletes and sports bodies around the world last Tuesday by agreeing to push back the Games because of the coronavirus pandemic.(Reuters/NAN)

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