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'It was the right decision' – JOA supports Olympics postponement

Published:Saturday | July 25, 2020 | 7:11 AMAkino Ming - Staff Reporter - -

President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) Christopher Samuda, welcomes the decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the pending Tokyo Olympic Games until 2021.

The board of the IOC made the decision on Tuesday after widespread cry by a number of stakeholders for the Games, scheduled for late July this year, to be pushed back because of the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus.

“I think it is the right decision given all the factors and the virus that is affecting us globally. The JOA has always maintained that the welfare of the athletes, coaches and managers are very critical and therefore I welcome the decision to postpone it,” Samuda told The Gleaner.

The IOC said the Tokyo Games “must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020, but not later than the summer of 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.”

Athletes from across the globe called for the postponement of the Games, as they were facing tight scheduling to meet the qualifying standards, with sport coming to a halt across the world because of the outbreak of the virus.

“The JOA of course will have to rewrite the scripts. It will not be a difficult task for us because we have an operational framework which responds quite good to crises and therefore all we have to do is collaborate with our stakeholders to ensure that whatever date is set, that we are prepared and that we do not lose momentum,” Samuda explained.