The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo has been postponed by one year until 2021 because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
The Olympics, due to be held in Japan from July 24 to August 9, will now take place “no later than summer 2021”, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed.
The Tokyo Paralympic Games will also be postponed until 2021.
The event will still be called Tokyo 2020 despite taking place in 2021, the IOC said.
The IOC said in a statement: “In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the World Health Organisation 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.”
Joint Statement from the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committeehttps://t.co/XNcaa4Gvx8
— Olympics (@Olympics) March 24, 2020
Pressure had been mounting on the IOC, the local organisers and the Japanese government to confirm a delay, with athletes around the globe unable to train due to social distancing measures imposed to limit the spread of the virus and a number of teams already pulling their teams out of the Games.
The postponement is the first in the Olympics’ 124-year history, although the Olympic flame will remain in Japan.