World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said on Sunday that Tokyo Olympic organizers have a “cast iron fixation” to stage the games that are postponed next year despite uncertainty due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Koe, who was recently made a member of the International Olympic Committee, visited Tokyo last month and met several top-ranking officials there, including Yoshiro Mori, the head of the organizing committee, and the Minister of Sports and Olympics in the Government of Japan.
“The future is uncertain but I have to give you a slightly more optimistic message. I recently visited Tokyo and met top officials there, including ministers of government. I can see a cast iron fit to give the game a platform, ”Coe said. He was in fact addressing the Annual General Assembly meeting of the Athletics Federation of India.
“The games may be different, maybe adaptations, they will probably demand more from your teams which we have not seen in any Olympic games before. “But please reassure your athletes as they enter the preparation phase that there is a strong determination (among officials in Japan) to stage the Olympic Games.”
The Tokyo Olympic Games were scheduled to be held from July 24 to August 9 this year but were postponed until next summer due to the epidemic. Coy, who was the first president of any top international federation to visit the Olympic Stadium, said he “gave a rest” to Tokyo, unlike what he had seen in the Japanese capital.
The 64-year-old double Olympic gold medalist in the 1500 meters claimed that no other sport has done so much for athletes at the international level and staged several competitions despite the global epidemic. “Our sport has faced challenges during these painful months. We have taken many brave decisions, we have put athletes at the center of all our efforts, organizing competitions, working for sponsorship, media, television and social media related activities.
“No other sport has done so much globally as we did to maintain our presence during these difficult times that we have never done during our careers as athletes or administrators.”
She cited last month as an example of the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Poland, where the women’s world record was broken by Kenyan Paris Zepchurch as one of this year’s high points. “Apart from the world record in the women’s event, it was the only world championship where 10 men recorded under an hour’s time.
He said, “10,000m world record by Joshua Cheptegi, continental tour events, innovative garden challenges via iPhone, inspiration sports, all of which put athletics at the forefront of the global game.” “We are also learning new things and we may have to take them up next year but I am hoping that this (situation) is not so bad (next year).”
Coe praised AFI for organizing several online activities for the benefit of athletes and officials in India in the South Asian region and Asia. “How many times have I lost to join you online? The AFI is doing a terrific job placing the athletes front and center. Your activities are also benefiting others in the South Asian region and beyond. “
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