We can wait' - athletes back decision to postpone Olympics
BERLIN – Many athletes have welcomed the decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics until next year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
"No problem, we can wait," France's decathlon world record holder Kevin Mayer tweeted.
Germany's 2019 decathlon world champion Niklas Kaul said the decision was "right for all athletes."
"I hope in 2021 we all get the Games we have dreamed about," Germany's sports personality of 2019 told dpa.
Kenyan marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge tweeted: "All in all a very wise decision to postpone the Olympics until 2021.
"I look forward to come back to Japan to defend my Olympic title next year and look forward to witness a wonderful event. I wish everybody good health in these challenging times."
All in all a very wise decision to postpone the Olympics until 2021. I look forward to come back to Japan to defend my Olympic title next year and look forward to witness a wonderful event. I wish everybody good health in these challenging times. pic.twitter.com/jrhsFEe545— Eliud Kipchoge - EGH🇰🇪 (@EliudKipchoge) March 24, 2020
German two-time golf major winner Martin Kaymer told dpa: "In the present situation it is absolutely the right decision.
"Looking at what is going on around the world we should be concentrating on other things as holding the biggest sport event in the world."
British elite cyclist Mark Cavendish tweeted: "BIG news and it's the right call ... Of course we have bigger things to worry about right now, but on a sporting side, there's going to be a few nations thankful for 12 months more preparation!"
BIG news and it’s the right call. #Tokyo2020 postponed. Of course we have bigger things to worry about right now, but on a sporting side, there’s going to be a few nations thankful for 12months more preparation! https://t.co/cQ5ZK4Ee8w— Mark Cavendish (@MarkCavendish) March 24, 2020
Swedish star swimmer Sarah Sjostrom said going ahead with the Games would have been "unfair" as not all athletes have been able to train.
"It was no surprise, we have been prepared for it for some weeks," Sjostrom, who won a 100-metre butterfly gold at the 2016 Rio Games, told Swedish Radio.
"It's sad, we had prepared for a long time. I felt I was beginning to get in good shape but the main thing is that everyone can remain healthy, that is the top priority."
Swedish pole vaulter Angelica Bengtsson told Swedish Radio the decision was good, saying: "Many countries have shut their arenas and it would not be fair if everyone does not have an equal opportunity ahead of the Olympics."
Norwegian men's beach volleyball medal hopefuls Anders Mol and Christian Sorum had wanted the Olympics to be postponed but the news was still sad, Mol told public broadcaster NRK.
He added, "we have an extra year to train, and that's not so bad."
Germany's retired discus Olympic champion Robert Harting said: "Doing anything other than facing the world health situation and respectfully adjusting the time of its staging would have made the IOC criminal."
He added: "The fact that a virus causes the Olympic Games to be postponed is insane. There will also be extreme economic changes, also affecting athletes. This will also lead to a shift in performance."
British sprinter Adam Gemili said via social media: "Thankful to finally have some clarity regarding The Olympic Games. A huge decision but I think the right one for sure.
"Time to regain, look after each other during this difficult period and go again when the time is right!"
US runner Emma Coburn, the 3,000m steeplechase world champion in 2017, tweeted: "Our dreams aren't cancelled, they are just postponed. Looking forward to dreams coming true for athletes everywhere in 2021."
German gymnast Marcel Nguyen said on Twitter: "There was no alternative. Hopefully we will all celebrate a big festival in Tokyo in 2021 - and this nonsense for training in the garden has now come to an end."dpa