This year’s Tokyo Olympic Games have been postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
After weeks of speculation, Tokyo 2020 and the International Olympic Committee have reached an agreement for the new dates for the Games, with the Olympics now set to take place from 23 July to 8 August 2021.
The Opening Ceremony on 23 July 2021 will be held almost exactly one year after the games were supposed to start this year. The Paralympic Games, originally due to start on 24 August 2020, will now take place between 24 August and 5 September, 2021.
Despite taking place in 2021 both the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games will still be called Tokyo 2020. It is the first time in the Olympic Games’ 124-year modern history that they have been delayed. They were cancelled altogether in 1916 because of World War One and again in 1940 and 1944 for World War Two.
Olympic organisers hope the delay will allow sufficient time to finish the qualification process which will follow the same mitigation measures planned for 2020. It had previously been confirmed that all athletes already qualified and quota places already assigned will remain unchanged.
Marius Vizer, President of the International Judo Federation (IJF) gave his support behind the new dates announced for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by saying the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Japanese Government and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee have made a “wise decision” with their rescheduling.
Vizer added, “The Executive of IJF have met and we are discussing all issues related to the next strategy, in cooperation with the IOC sport department and we will let you know soon as possible”.
Judo is one of many sports to have had Olympic qualification heavily disrupted by cancellations and postponements stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, and Vizer said discussions had already begun on how to resolve such issues.
The IJF has already cancelled all events until 30 April with the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam in Russia, the Tbilisi Grand Prix in Georgia and the Antalya Grand Prix in Turkey all called cancelled, with more events expected to follow in the same way.
The IJF have also suspended their Throw to Tokyo competition which offers free flights, accommodation and tickets to see the Olympic judo contest in the Japanese capital.
They have announced they would keep all submitted videos which will still be valid when the contest starts again next year. Two winners will be selected, one by public vote and one by an IJF Commission.
The IJF has also confirmed it will let participants know as soon as possible when the competition is to reopen.