COVID-19 FORCES THE IOC AND JAPANESE PM TO POSTPONE THE TOKYO 2020 GAMES.
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The question we have asked ourselves when concerned about the 2020 Games, is how significant the impact would be for participation of qualifying amateur fighters such as Featherweight Peter McGrail and flyweight fighter Galal Yafai both representing Great Britain. Unfortunately, both qualifiers are now greeted by the fact that the Olympics will be delayed alongside the Tokyo Paralympic Games up until the summer of 2021!
Despite the rising severity of the COVID virus, some events have still been taking place such as The Boxing Road to Tokyo London event that started on the 16th March due to end today(24th March). Featuring an estimated 350 boxers fighting to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, there had been surmounting pressure and controversy building around such events as to whether or not such mass gathering would be cancelled. Now we finally have the answer.
The president of the European Boxing Confederation (EBC), Franco Falcinelli had already expressed his concerns due to the likelihood of the virus spreading being “very high”
Falcinelli also elaborated upon his fears surrounding the situation due to the fact that this event was taking place behind closed doors. He explained worries regarding the flight restrictions in place and how they may potentially prevent the athletes from being able to return home. All those fears can now be shed.
Though the Olympics were due to proceed 24th July 2020, they have been cancelled to return by “no later than summer 2021” as confirmed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As the host of the global event, Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe stated that his proposition to postpone the Olympics received a “100% agreement” from the IOC president, Thomas Bach. According to the BBC.
As stated by the Telegraph, this formal postponement is the first of its kind in the competition’s history that spans 124 years! The Olympics have only ever been completely cancelled prior to this time during the World War periods of 1944, 1940 and 1916, but never postponed!
We can only hope this crisis abates by such time and our much-awaited boxing glory lives to its fullest in Summer 2021!