Tokyo Olympics | Athletes give thumbs up to postponement

Say the decision was the right thing to do

Prospective Olympic competitors were quick out of the blocks on Tuesday after the Tokyo Games were postponed until 2021 and most gave the decision the thumbs up on social media.

“All in all a very wise decision,” tweeted Eliud Kipchoge, the Olympic marathon champion and the only man to run the distance in less than two hours. “I look forward to come back to Japan to defend my Olympic title next year and look forward to witness a wonderful event.”

Italian cyclist Elia Viviani, a track gold medallist in Rio in 2016, summed up much of the reaction when he tweeted: “Postponing the Olympics to 2021 is the best decision for me. Today we are all struggling with a much bigger problem…. So Olympics see you in 2021!”

More preparation

One of his sprint rivals, Britain’s Mark Cavendish said: “BIG news and it’s the right call,” before adding: “On a sporting side, there’s going to be a few nations thankful for 12 months more preparation!”

Also read: 2020 Olympic Games will be postponed, says IOC member Dick Pound

Belgian cyclist Victor Campenaerts was worried about his girlfriend, swimmer Fanny Lecluyse: “She has already been selected, will she be selected for next year’s Olympics? Does she have to qualify again? She was planning to retire after these Games.”

For some athletes, like Simone Biles who had said she planned to retire after Tokyo, it means another year of hard work. Her coach said the US gymnasts were ready.

Less happy

Russian gymnast Angelina Melnikova, was less happy with the decision.

“I’m very excited and now I’m very upset, we are all very upset. But now we have time,” she posted on Instagram.

“I’ll do my best gymnastics ever. Let’s go with me.”

At 25, British diver Tom Daley, who has won medals at the last two Olympics, said the extra year would take a toll.

“Yes, I’ll be another year older, and my body will feel that, but I promise to work my tail off.”

India’s Mary Kom tweeted: “Excellent and right decision.”

The 2012 women’s triathlon champion, Nicola Spirig, applauded the decision but hinted it could mark the end of her career.

But most expressed relief and optimism.

Dutch runner Dafne Schippers, who won silver in the 200 metres in Rio posted: “I was really looking forward… but for now we have to look at the bigger picture and do whatever it takes to beat the corona virus… let’s make sure we’ll celebrate even harder in 2021!”

US swimmer Lilly King, a double gold medallist in Rio, posted: “Just one more year to get better.”

“You gonna cry about it or boss up?” asked American wrestler Jordan Burroughs, a gold medalist in 2012, in a slangy tweet, “First of all imma do both.”

French double-Olympic judo champion Teddy Riner tweeted : “See you in 2021, Tokyo. First, we have a more important fight to win.”

British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith tweeted: “Tokyo2021. Same flame, new dates.”

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