Olympic Games Set To Be Postponed Until 2021 - UBITENNIS
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Olympic Games Set To Be Postponed Until 2021

A new date has not been set yet, but it will be during the Summer of 2021

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The latest sporting casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic is the Olympic Games after an agreement was struck to postpone the four-year event until 2021.

 

Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe held a phone conversation with Thomas Bach on Tuesday, who is the head on the International Olympic Committee (IOC). During the talk, Abe purposed that the event should be delayed by 12 months amid growing concerns by both athletes and national Olympic Federations. Canada has previously said that they will not be sending their athletes to the event this summer due to the threat posed by the Coronavirus.

“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” said a joint statement from the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee.

There has been some further details on the suspension from Yuriko Koike, who is the governor of Tokyo. According to Kyodo News Agency, the games will still be called ‘Tokyo 2020’ to symbolize that they overcame the covid-19 pandemic. It will still be held during the summer, but no dates have been issued. Previously athletes have voiced their concerns about playing in the extreme heat. Whilst the suspension was inevitable, there will be a massive impact on the Japanese economy.  Highly regarded financial newspaper Nikkei Asian Review that the cost could be as much as $6bn according to their sources.

These costs include the maintenance of temporary sports facility that will have to be kept functioning for a much longer time than anticipated: Makuhari Messe, where the wrestling, taekwondo and fencing events will be held, is one of Japan’s busiest convention centers, it hosted 940 events in fiscal 2018 and is receiving inquiries for dates a year or more in the future; Tokyo Big Sight, which is to serve as the main press center for Japanese and international media, is already being reserved for other events in July and August 2021. Furthermore, the new arrangements will have to be struck with the new owners of the 11,000 apartments of the Olympic Village who will not be able to take possession of their new homes for another year.

The postponement will most likely require the rescheduling of the World Championships for the two most symbolic disciplines of the Olympic Games, swimming and athletics. The 2021 World Aquatics Championships are planned to be held in Fukuoka, Japan, between 16 July and 1 August 2021, with the 2021 World Athletics Championships to follow just a week later (6-15 August) in Eugene, Oregon, USA.

As far as tennis is concerned, much will depend on the new dates of the “2021 Olympic Games”, although it seems likely they will be slotted between Wimbledon and the US Open. The Championships 2021 at the All England Club are currently scheduled to take place between 28 June and 11 July, while the 2021 US Open will start on 30 August to end with the men’s final on 12 September. The Olympics will most likely require some calendar adjustment like it normally happens during Olympic years: the original 2020 calendar now sees the Hamburg European Open, a clay court ATP 500 tournament, start on 13 July, the day after the Wimbledon Championships men’s final, some two weeks earlier than normally planned.

No announcements have been made by the ATP or the WTA as to whether the postponement of the 202o Tokyo Olympics will cause some reshuffling in the 2020 calendar that is still very much tentative at this stage as the world tries to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas: “I will miss Wimbledon and I can’t wait to 2021”

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Stefanos Tsitsipas said that the Wimbledon cancellation news was just an April fool after organizers of the famous British tournament called off their Grand Slam event due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and public health concerns.

 

Tsitsipas made his debut at Wimbledon in 2017 and reached the fourth round in 2018. He lost to Stefano Travaglia in the opening round at Wimbledon last year, but he bounced back winning the ATP Finals in London.

This year Tsitsipas won the Marseille title for the second consecutive year and lost the Dubai final against Novak Djokovic in Dubai. He lost to Milos Raonic in the third round at the Australian Open. At the inaugural edition of the ATP Cup in Australia he beat Alexander Zverev and lost to Denis Shapovalov and Nick Kyrgios.

Tsitsipas was the first Greek player to break into the top 5 and the first player from his country to reach a Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open in 2019. Last year he scored the biggest win of his career against Novak Djokovic in Shanghai and won three titles in Marseille and Estoril. He finished runner-up to Roger Federer in Dubai and to Dominic Thiem in Beijing.

“I went to bed thinking this was all a bad April fools joke but I woke up today to find that Wimbledon is actually cancelled. I will miss this special event and I can’t wait to 2021. Stay home. Stay sane”, wrote Tsitsipas in a Twitter post.

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Roger Federer: “We experience difficult times, we arise from it strengthened”

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Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has confirmed that he is planning to play in Halle in 2021 after the historic German grass tournament was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The ATP has extended the suspension of the tour until 13th July. Federer was expected to play in Halle, a tournament where he won ten times and reached 13 finals. He made his debut in Halle in 2000 during his career.

 

“We experience difficult times, however, we will arise from it strengthened. Already today I am glad and excited about my return to Halle next year. Stay healthy”, said Federer in a statement released on the Halle tournament website.

 Federer also won eight Wimbledon titles, which was also called off for the first time since 1945 due to public health concerns due to the coronavirus outbreak.

 

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Angelique Kerber: “I am heavy-hearted about the cancellation of the grass season”

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Former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber has posted her thought on the Wimbledon cancellation.

 

“The thought of playing at Wimbledon has always been the biggest source of my motivation. It goes without saying that I I am heavy hearted that the cancellation of the grass court season also means that I won’t be able to play in front of my home crowd in sport unites, in good and bad times. Once this has passed, it may even help us appreciate our everydayday routines and the beauty of our sport even more than before. Thanks to everyone who is working 24/7 to get us through this uncertain time”.

The German player of Polish origin won three Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open and at the US Open in 2016 and at Wimbledon in 2018. She won the Olympic singles silver medal in Rio de Janeiro 2016 losing in the final to Monica Puig.

Kerber lost to Samantha Stosur in the first round in Brisbane. Kerber beat Wang Qiang in straight sets in the first round before retiring from her second round match against Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska due to a left harmstring injury, after the German player was down a set and a break.

At the Australian Open Kerber beat Elisabetta Cocciaretto, Priscilla Hon, Camila Giorgi before losing to Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova. She is currently ranked world number 21 in the WTA Ranking.

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