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Olympic Games

Coronavirus: Tokyo 2021 Olympics to be staged "in summer at latest"

Rescheduling the Tokyo Olympics is "like a huge jigsaw puzzle" for the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach has said.

Coronavirus: Tokyo 2021 Olympics to be staged "in summer at latest"
Lintao ZhangGetty Images

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach described rescheduling the Tokyo Olympics as "like a huge jigsaw puzzle", adding that all options are being considered when it comes to a new start date.

It was confirmed on Tuesday that the global spread of coronavirus would result in the Games - which had been due to start on July 24 - being postponed.

A statement issued by the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 organising committee stated the Olympics would be "rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021".

On Wednesday Bach explained a special taskforce had been formed to work alongside the international federations and identify the most suitable date for the Games to now take place.

Tokyo Olympics: All options on the table, says IOC chief

"The agreement is that we want to organise these Olympic Games at the latest in summer 2021," Bach told reporters on a conference call. That means that this task force can consider the broader picture.

"This is not restricted just to the summer months, all the options are on the table before or including the summer of 2021."

Bach added: "We of course also have to take into account the sport calendar around the Olympic Games and many other issues.

"We should come to a solution as soon as possible, but first priority should be the quality of this decision; to really be able to take the input of all the stakeholders into account – the NOCs [national Olympic committees], athletes, partners, and the organising committee is key also in this."

The Games in Tokyo will be the first not to go ahead on time since the Second World War, with Bach acknowledging the new team is in unfamiliar waters.

"This is like a huge jigsaw puzzle and every piece has to fit," Bach explained. "You take out one piece, the whole puzzle is destroyed.

"Everything has to come together and everything is important. This is why I really do not envy the members of this taskforce in their work."

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