EOC president: Certainty over postponement of Tokyo Olympics better than limbo

  • 2020-03-24
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – President of the Estonian Olympic Committee (EOC) Urmas Soorumaa on Tuesday hailed clarity over whether the Tokyo Olympics will be staged on the planned dates, saying that knowledge that the games will be adjourned is better than unclarity.

Soorumaa said that each item of definitive news is welcome in a situation of unclarity.

"Now things are clear for everyone, and everybody can base their further action on that information," Soorumaa said according to spokespeople for EOC.

"Just like with any decision, there are those who even might be aided by this decision, and others to whom it provides food for thought," he said, explaining that the former might include young athletes who get more time to improve their shape, whereas those who were planning to end their career with the Tokyo Games this summer must think whether they have the spiritual strength to be in as good a shape next year as they intended to be this summer.

"In conclusion, this decision has to be welcomed, as it brought clarity for many," Soorumaa said.

The organizing committee of the Tokyo Olympics and the International Olympic Committee announced on Tuesday that due to the changed situation as a result of the spread of COVID-19, the upcoming Tokyo Games "will be held by the summer of 2021." 

Martti Raju, sports director of EOC and head of the Olympic delegation, said that preparation for the games will continue as before despite the postponement.

"Training must continue and qualifications must be held -- half the Olympic tickets are yet to be distributed. Our main emphasis is on our athletes being able to continue training for the Tokyo Games, and Audentes Sports Center and the Parnu Kalev rowing facility are ideal places to do it," Raju said, listing the sports facilities reserved n the current emergency situation for the athletes on an Olympic program.