Tokyo 2020’s new date a silver lining across gloomy sky, says Gumel
Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) President, Habu Gumel, has described the new date announced on Monday by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the 2020 Games in Tokyo as a silver linen across a gloomy sky as the world continues its battle against the Coronavirus pandemic.
The NOC boss said the July 23 to August 8, 2021 date announced by IOC will give athletes, coaches, investors and governments a new sense of purpose as they continue their preparation.
To this end, he said it was imperative for the body to update Nigerians about the games, which will still be known as Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“We are all aware that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, officially known as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a new date announced.”
Gumel, who doubles as the treasurer of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), added, “The IOC is aware that all Olympic Movement stakeholders and the athletes face significant challenges in securing the final qualification places for the Tokyo Games. Even in some countries, athletes are finding it difficult to continue their regular training schedules, but the IOC has reassured that all the athletes will have their time for the qualification window, as new dates will be made available very soon so as to give clarity to all the actions.”
He reiterated the full commitment of the IOC to the delivery of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, expressing confidence that with the measures being taken by various authorities around the world, the COVID-19 virus would soon be curtailed.
Gumel encouraged all Nigerian athletes across the world to continue their preparation for the Games with a renewed vigor.
“The NOC is equally hopeful for speedy solutions to the health challenges posed by Covid-19. On a brighter side, we all can take advantage of the extended period to adequately prepare our contingent for a glorious outing at the Tokyo Olympic Games.”
Meanwhile, the IOC has established a Task Force, code named “Here We Go,” to ensure coordinated actions by all stakeholders with a mandate to constantly keep all stakeholders abreast of the situation.
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