Paris, March 25 (IANS) World Athletics has welcomed the decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to 2021, stressing that the decision is what athletes want.
In a statement, the world body said: "It is what athletes want and we believe this decision will give all athletes, technical officials and volunteers some respite and certainty in these unprecedented and uncertain times."
"We will also expedite our current review of the Olympic qualification system, in cooperation with the IOC, and release any changes to the process as soon as possible so athletes know where they stand," the statement added.
World Athletics reiterated their stand to work with the IOC and all sport on an alternative date for the Olympic Games in 2021 and have already set their eyes on postponing the 2021 World Athletics Championships slated for August 6-15 in Oregon, the United States.
"They (local organizing committee) have assured us that they will work with all of their partners and stakeholders to ensure that Oregon is able to host the World Athletics Championships on alternative dates, including dates in 2022," said the World Athletics.
On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee said in a joint statement that the committee's president Thomas Bach and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed that the Games have to be "rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021."
This thus makes it the first Olympics to be postponed with the Games being cancelled previously in 1916 due to the First World War and 1940 and 1944 due to the Second World War.
The joint statement said that the postponement comes in response to the coronavirus pandemic that has led to restrictions over people's movements in countries around the world.