Saturday, 5 December 2020

Tokyo 2020 must be simple and safe: John Coates

REUTERS/Issei Kato/File

SYDNEY: Senior Olympic official John Coates has reiterated that Tokyo must stage a simplified Summer Games next year with the health and safety of athletes the most important consideration in the planning.

Australian Coates heads up the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Coordination Commission for the Tokyo 2020 Games, which have been postponed until 2021 because of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

“The good news is that all 42 Games’ venues … have been resecured. The competition schedule is the same,” the IOC Vice President wrote in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph on Friday, a day after the one-year countdown to the opening ceremony. “But we must reduce the cost impact of postponement as well as simplify the Games to ensure they can be organised efficiently, safely and sustainably, in this new context. “With one year to go, there is no clear picture of what shape the simplified Games will take. The situation with Covid-19, both domestically and internationally, is constantly changing.”

Coates wrote that putting in place counter-measures against Covid-19 would be no easy task but welcomed the top level commitment from the Japanese government, Tokyo regional government and Games organising committee to get it done.

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