‘A bitter disappointment for all,’ but ITF supports decision to postpone Tokyo 2020

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The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has backed the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Games until next year.

With the coronavirus pandemic causing chaos not only to the sporting calendars, but every walk of life, the IOC agreed to push back the Olympics, which was due to start on July 24, to “no later than summer 2021.

The tennis event was due to take place 25 July and 2 August at the Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo, but it will now be rescheduled along with all other Olympic events.

“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,” a joint statement from the IOC and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee said.

In a statement of their own, ITF President David Haggerty said his organisation backed the decision.

“The global health situation continues to evolve at an extraordinary pace and we are faced with an unprecedented situation that calls for leadership and making informed decisions,” Haggerty said.

“Whilst this is a bitter disappointment for all those who have been preparing and training hard, we all understand that the protection of human life, health and safety, comes first.

“The ITF supports this decision and will continue to collaborate fully with the IOC and the IPC going forward to 2021. We look forward to seeing all athletes, volunteers and fans when it is safe for us to meet and participate at our best at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.”

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