The postponement of the Olympics comes as a surprise to no one. A joint statement from the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee says the games “must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.”
The IOC is engaging with World Sailing to develop the necessary plans in full partnership and to ensure full transparency with a focus on information for World Sailing and the athletes.
World Sailing will now work with the IOC and Tokyo 2020 on timing of the postponed Olympic Games, necessary adaptations to Games delivery plans, and Olympic qualification systems.
World Sailing is working closely with the Japanese Sailing Federation, the Organising Committee of the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Final, and will communicate decisions on the events calendar shortly.
In the short term, World Sailing will not hold Olympic qualification events for Africa, Asia or Europe. World Sailing is working with the IOC on an update to the qualification system where the recommendation will be to look at hosting qualifications events in late 2020 or early 2021.
Mark Robinson, RYA Olympic Performance Manager and Team GB Sailing Team Leader, says: “The British Sailing Team fully supports the IOC’s decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“It is obviously hugely disappointing for our athletes and staff who have devoted the last four years and often much longer to their dream of representing Team GB at the Olympics. However, we all understand the seriousness of the unprecedented global situation and believe the decision to delay the games is the right one for the sake of the health of athletes, support staff, sports fans and the wider public. A delay will also ensure that competition remains fair.
“Our sailors and support staff remain resilient and incredibly determined to achieve our goals at the Olympic Games. We will do everything in our power to ensure we are ready to perform in Enoshima in 2021.”
The team’s immediate priority will be to ensure the safety and physical and mental wellbeing of its athletes during the coronavirus lockdown. Work will also begin to re-plan the complex logistics involved in preparing and training for the Olympics.