The Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021, almost exactly a year after the Games were to commence this year.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Monday confirmed the new dates for the 32nd edition of the Games with details on handling the logistics necessitated by the decision. The Paralympics was also confirmed from August 24-September 5 next year.
The decision came after extensive discussions with all NOCs, International Federations (IFs) and the Tokyo Organising Committee. “This decision is in line with the many comments and requests we received. I hope you will appreciate that, given the many constraints, we had to take this decision without consulting you directly again,” IOC president Thomas Bach said in a communique.
Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori confirmed the decision in Tokyo. “A certain amount of time is required for the selection and qualification of athletes and for their training and preparation, and the consensus was that staging the rescheduled Games during the summer vacation in Japan would be preferable,” Mori said.
The IOC also reiterated the revised qualification systems and timelines, confirming that athletes/NOCs already qualified would retain their places while the remaining qualifiers and qualification spots would be finalised soon.
“We will continue to work closely with each IF on the necessary revisions of Tokyo 2020 qualification systems. To facilitate these adaptations, and reflecting the postponement of the Games, we are making necessary modifications to the qualification system principles to include, for example, the relaxation of the maximum two-year period and amendments to the qualification deadlines,” IOC said.
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The IOC also confirmed that no further qualification events would be scheduled until further notice and announced the formation of a Task Force to look into the operational and logistical changes required, including securing sports venues, Olympic Village and hotels. Deadlines for ticketing and accreditations have also been pushed back with already purchased tickets likely to remain valid.
The decision, however, has forced several IFs to reschedule their calendar with World Athletics confirming the 2021 World Championships would now be held in 2022.
“Everyone needs to be flexible and compromise, and to that end we are now working with organisers in Oregon on new dates in 2022 for our World athletics championships. We are also in discussions with the Commonwealth Games Federation and the European Championships,” World Athletics said in a statement.
The 2021 World swimming championships, scheduled for July 16-August 1 in Fukuoka, would also be pushed back, although the International Swimming Federation has ruled out postponing the competition to 2022.