SA swimmer Duné Coetzee in action. Photo: Reg Caldecott
SA swimmer Duné Coetzee in action. Photo: Reg Caldecott

Swimming federation welcomes new Olympic dates

By Associated Press Time of article published Mar 30, 2020

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The governing body of swimming (FINA) welcomed the new Tokyo Olympic dates without giving any detail of how to reschedule its own world championships in Japan next year.

FINA’s biennial worlds were planned for July 16-August 1, 2021, in Fukuoka. That slot is now taken by the Tokyo Olympics.

FINA says knowing the Olympic dates “is very helpful to federations and athletes everywhere."

The governing body of track quickly committed to pushing back its world championships to 2022. But FINA has the added complication of the 2022 Commonwealth Games because many top swimmers compete in both events.

Triathlon

The governing body of triathlon says it wanted the rescheduled Olympics to be held earlier in the year to avoid the summer heat but has accepted the new dates.

World Triathlon president Marisol Casado says “even though we would have preferred to move the games to earlier dates, where the impact of the heat was a bit lower, we agreed that these dates are the best solution.”

All sports federations involved in the Olympics signed off on the new dates.

Casado says “I am absolutely confident that we will have magnificent games in Tokyo next summer, with the help and support of all of us involved in the preparations for hosting the event.”

The International Olympic Committee previously moved the marathons and race walking events to Japan’s northern city of Sapporo and scheduled most of them to start early in the morning to avoid the heat in Tokyo.

Triathlon has remained in the capital even though it includes running.

FINA says knowing the Olympic dates is very helpful to federations and athletes everywhere. Photo: AP Photo/Koji Sasahara

Athletics

The governing body of track and field says it supports the new dates for the Tokyo Olympics and is working with organizers in Eugene, Oregon, to move its world championships to 2022.

World Athletics says “everyone needs to be flexible and compromise.”

The 2021 track worlds were scheduled to be next year from Aug. 6-15.

World Athletics says it will consult with the organizers of the Commonwealth Games and the European Athletics Championships. Those are other major track events scheduled to take place in 2022.

New Olympics dates

The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year's games.

Tokyo organizers say the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021 - almost exactly one year after the games were due to start this year.

The IOC and Japanese organizers last week postponed the Olympics until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year's games were scheduled to open on July 24 and close on Aug. 9. But the near exact one-year delay will see the rescheduled closing ceremony on Aug. 8.

There had been talk of switching the Olympics to spring, a move that would coincide with the blooming of Japan's famous cherry blossoms. But it would also clash with European soccer and North American sports leagues.

Associated Press (AP)

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