There are strong indications the official dates for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, now billed to take place next year, will be announced before the end of April 2020.
It was gathered that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) told countries during a conference call Friday that a decision on when the postponed Olympic Games would be held will be made within the next three weeks.
The IOC had told international federations a day earlier they were working towards announcing definite dates for the Tokyo Games before the end of April.
Already, it has been agreed that the Tokyo Games will not be postponed later than the summer of 2021 after a shift was necessitated by the international concern over the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, the timing of the Games is the most pressing issue for a task force established by the IOC and Tokyo 2020 to navigate the complicated challenges stemming from the postponement.
Confirming the exact dates for the first Olympic Games to be postponed in history will also pave the way for other key areas to be addressed, including venues and qualification.
IOC President Thomas Bach admitted earlier this week that there are “thousands” of questions following the decision to delay the Games, none of which can be answered until the new dates are set.
According to a report on insidethegames, the majority of the 33 Federations on the Tokyo 2020 programme prefer the rearranged Games to be staged between July and August, although some suggested dates in April and May.
The report also added the prospect of a spring Olympics in Japan has been mooted and while this would require rescheduling of other sporting events, it potentially could avoid the high summer temperatures in Tokyo, which had forced organisers to invest in heat countermeasures for the Games.
Habu Gumel, President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), said while the new date is being awaited, the decision to shift the Games was the best for humanity because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
He said, “It’s very important at this point, to have a rethink about the summer games. We have been engaging ourselves on video calls overtime. That is, the IOC, the Japanese government and the organisers are working hand – in – hand with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to put in place the best for our athletes, officials and guests that will be in Japan but the extent the COVID-19 has gotten to is a major concern for all and sundry, hence the postponement.”
Speaking further, Mr Gumel, an IOC member, stated that the NOC remains committed to supporting the Sporting Federations athletes in the completion of their qualification process.
He charged the Federations to continue to work in unity with the NOC for the betterment of all.
On his part, IOC member John Coates, head of the Coordination Commission for Tokyo 2020, suggested the organisation is working with Federations to potentially find a window in July and August next year.
New Zealand Olympic Committee chief executive Officer, Kereyn Smith, said the organisation “looks forward to learning the exact date of the Games.
“Our athletes have reacted extremely well to the postponement of the Games and having a date to work towards will allow them to carry out the meticulous planning and the training required for an Olympic Games performance,” Ms Smith added.