Tokyo Olympics postponed until 2021 due to coronavirus pandemic
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Tokyo Olympics postponed until 2021 due to coronavirus pandemic

THE Olympic Games which was scheduled to take place in Tokyo, Japan this summer has been pushed back a year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) made the decision on Tuesday morning after Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe asked members to postpone the games due to measures taken to combat COVID-19.

The IOC had been under immense pressure to postpone the event, with all other major sporting events around the world due to take place over the summer either cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic.

The games were initially due to begin in July, but now it appears athletes will have to wait until July 2021 for their chance to compete for their country.

For weeks, politicians, athletes and other sporting committees were urging Tokyo to postpone the event, with some nations even gouging so far as to announce they won't be sending a team to Japan should the Games go on as planned, due to health concerns.

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The IOC said the games will be held "not later than summer 2021" but will still be called the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the World Health Organisation 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 IOC said in a statement.

Japanese prime minster Abe said holding the games next year would be "proof of a victory by human beings against the coronavirus infections".