London, March 28: World Athletics president Sebastian Coe says track and field must not be afraid to "think bigger" after the coronavirus pandemic passes.
On Tuesday, it was confirmed the Tokyo Olympics – which had been due to start in July – has been postponed to 2021 due to the ongoing crisis.
World Athletics has welcomed the decision, with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) having initially been reluctant to postpone the showpiece event.
It appears inevitable the World Athletics Championship, due to be held in Oregon in August 2021, will be nudged back a year to 2022 as a result.
Though disappointed at the 2020 schedule being hugely affected, Coe suggested there is now an opportunity to reinvigorate athletics.
"When we get through this, and we will, we will be braver and more innovative," Coe wrote in an open letter on Friday.
"We will be more collaborative and resilient. We will be stronger and more tolerant. We will be more global, not less.
"In sport we have a unique opportunity not to tiptoe around things and tweak at the edges. We have the chance to think bigger, to rip up the blueprints and banish the 'that's the way we've always done it' mentality."
After his telephone talks with IOC President Bach, PM Abe spoke to the press and explained that the two have agreed that the Tokyo Olympic Games would not be cancelled, and the games will be held by the summer of 2021. pic.twitter.com/ihe8To2g3R— PM's Office of Japan (@JPN_PMO) March 24, 2020
Coe added: "The situation the world finds itself in today is a huge wake-up call for all of us – as human beings, as businesses and as sport. We should capitalise on this and work out new ways of delivering events, create and plan new events that embrace the many as well as the few.
"We can use this time to innovate and extend our sport across the year. Rather than just focusing on one-day meetings and one-day road races at one end of the spectrum and 10-day extravaganzas at the other end, we should look at weekend festivals of running, jumping and throwing that take advantage of the southern and northern hemisphere seasons.
"We should work with governments to re-establish sport in schools, rebuild club structures, incentivise people to exercise and get fit. This should and could be the new normal. We don't have to do things the same way.
"The priority for all of us right now is to contain the pandemic, stay healthy and stay home. But where we can continue to drive our sport forward, we must."
Coe also revealed his organisation will do all it can to ensure the outdoor season of one-day meetings goes ahead as soon as it is safe, with Diamond League events having been postponed until at least June.