New Delhi [India], Mar 24 (ANI): Former Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra on Tuesday welcomed the decision to postpone Tokyo Games 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, saying it is now paramount for every federation to suspend the training camps for athletes.
"Now that the scenario around the Tokyo Games is clear it is paramount to safeguard athletes, suspend training camps immediately and make athletes feel like contributors to the community by being socially responsible. Their health and of those around them is what matters," Bindra tweeted.
In another tweet, Bindra said, "To all athletes - stay safe and healthy now that's the best you can do for yourself and your country. When we all rise we will be behind you all even more. And your achievement will mean everything."
Earlier today, for the first time in the history of the mega global event, the Olympics were postponed by a year.
The decision was confirmed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after the organising body for the event and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to reschedule the Tokyo Olympics in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Olympics were cancelled in the past but were never postponed.
In 1916, 1940 and 1944, the Games were cancelled because of the World Wars.
The Tokyo Olympics will now take place next year.
The IOC has, however, said that the original name of Tokyo 2020 will remain intact irrespective of the fact that it will take place next year.
"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," the IOC said in an official statement.
"The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020," the statement added.
The IOC was under immense pressure to postpone the games as the entire world has been sent in a lockdown due to COVID-19.
The Tokyo Olympic Games were slated to be held from July 24 to August 9, while the Paralympic Games were scheduled to be held from August 25 to September 6. (ANI)