Olympics postponement saved athletes from mental turmoil: Coe

AFP

Sports, In Other News

Olympic champion supported postponement as he felt suspense would have left the competitors in an impossible position

Sebastian Coe.

London: World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said Sunday that the decision to postpone this year's Tokyo Olympics because of the coronavirus has saved athletes from "mental turmoil".

Former Olympic champion Coe supported the move to push the Games back to 2021 and said competitors would have been placed in an impossible position if the event had been left to start on July 24 as originally scheduled.

They would have been tempted to continue training despite large parts of the world being in lockdown due the Covid19 pandemic, which has now killed more than 31,000 people.

"We didn't want to have the athletes in a position where they were countering government advice, maybe even breaking the law," Coe told TalkSport on Sunday.

"And of course in the back of their minds was always that concern, it wasn't just their own training programme, but that they ran the risk of effectively infecting themselves, their families, their kids, grandparents or parents, and we just wanted to take them out of that mental turmoil as quickly as we possibly could.

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"We're no different from everyone else out there but I think we just concluded that sport, on this occasion, had to take a back seat."

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