International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound says the 2020 Olympic Games will likely be postponed until 2021 due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
The Blitzboks and 11 other men’s teams that compete on the World Rugby Sevens circuit, were set to contest for Olympic gold at the 2020 Games in Tokyo later this year. Twelve women’s sevens teams were also set to play at the Olympics.
Several sporting events and tournaments all over the world have been suspended and/or cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But the IOC initially held off making such a decision in the hope that the Olympics could continue.
The indecision by the IOC led to mounting pressure to have the Olympics postponed, but it wasn’t until Team Canada, Team Australia and Team Britain announced that they won’t be sending any athletes to the Games should it continue this year, that the IOC gave in.
Pound, a longstanding IOC member, told USA Today: ‘On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided. The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.’
The World Sevens Series itself has experienced disruption due to coronavirus, with the last four tournaments in Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Paris all postponed to a yet to be determined date.
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