Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday welcomed the IOC's decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics by one year in view of the worsening COVID-19 pandemic, saying it was necessary for the well being of the athletes.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday announced the postponement of the 2020 Games, scheduled for July-August, to the summer of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic which has brought the world to a standstill.
"I welcome the decision of IOC to postpone #Tokyo2020 in view of the global pandemic. It's necessary for the well being of athletes from across the world," Rijiju said in a tweet.
My dear Athletes,— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) March 24, 2020
As per the directions of the Govt, all sports training camps and centres will remain closed during 21-day lockdown. Pls maintain your physical and mental fitness at the place wherever you are staying without going out. https://t.co/WGMDFJfFIu
ALSO READ: Indian Athletes React - Who Said What
"I urge our athletes not to lose heart. We'll create better opportunities so that we can have India's best medal tally in 2021."
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 17,000 and affected nearly 4 lakh people globally.
The Indian Olympic Association also welcomed the IOC's decision, saying the country's athletes have been relieved of having to train during a global health crisis.