File Photo: Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria

KUALA LUMPUR: The announcement of a new date for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games brings much relief to the sports community in particular athletes who have endured mental stress during the period of uncertainty due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president, Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria said Malaysia is pleased that the postponement has been confirmed sooner than expected.

“OCM fully supports the decision to host the Tokyo Olympic Games from July 23 to August 8 2021. The 12-month postponement will allow all our resources to focus on fighting Covid-19 and keeping everyone safe. 

“…but it would also provide sufficient time for our athletes to reboot and return to their peak condition. We will work with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and international sports federations to ensure that the Games will be a fair and equitable especially in relation to the qualification process,” he said in a statement, today. 

The Tokyo Olympics will now be held exactly a year from the original dates planned earlier (July 24, 2020).

The new dates were agreed by the IOC, International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and the Japanese government after a teleconference, on Monday.

Norza said OCM would continue close coordination with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, OCM members and athletes as well as stakeholders to ensure athletes’ preparation for that elusive Olympic gold medal remains on track. 

“We look forward to the Games in 2021 and we are sure it will live up to the promises of Tokyo 2020. I have no doubt that as a team, we will overcome this adversity and will be better because of it,” he said. – Bernama