Tokyo, March 30: The new dates for the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics have finally been decided and the quadrennial event will be held between July 23 to August 8 next year. The Tokyo Olympics will open on July 23, 2021, while the Paralympic Games will open on August 24 of the same year and conclude on September 5.
"The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPL), the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Government of Japan today (March 30) agreed to new dates for the Games of the 23rd Olympiad, in 2021. The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be celebrated from July 23 to August 8, 2021. They also agreed on new dates for the Paralympic Games, which will be celebrated from August 24 until September 5, 2021," said an IOC release.
"The leaderships of the key parties came together via telephone conference earlier today, joined by IOC President Thomas Bach, Tokyo 2020 President Mori Yoshirō, Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko and Olympic and Paralympic Minister Hashimoto Seiko, and agreed on the new schedule," the release added further.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics were due to open on July 24 and run for 16 days, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the first peace-time postponement of the Games. The IOC and Japan had for weeks insisted the show could go on but the rapid spread of COVID-19 prompted growing disquiet among athletes and sporting federations.
Only 479 days before the @Tokyo2020 starts..— Sjoerd Marijne (@SjoerdMarijne) March 30, 2020
These new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organisation of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new dates, exactly one year after those originally planned for 2020 (Olympic Games: 24 July to 9 August 2020 and Paralympic Games: 25 August to 6 September 2020), also have the added benefit that any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum, in the interests of the athletes and the IFs. Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process. The same heat mitigation measures as planned for 2020 will be implemented.
The Olympics was the highest-profile sporting casualty of the coronavirus that has wiped out fixtures worldwide and all but halted professional sport.
There was some speculation that Japanese organisers could take advantage of the blank canvas to shift the Games to spring, avoiding the heat of the Tokyo summer that had been their main concern before coronavirus struck.