Tokyo 2020: Olympics postponement will have 'enormous impact' on sports calendar Commonwealth Games chief: Tokyo 2020 postponement "is like trying to take the Titanic and park it in a Tesco parking lot"

Last Updated: 29/03/20 12:46pm

The rescheduling of the Tokyo Olympic Games could result in sporting organisations working closer with athletes to enable them to participate at their peak, according to the chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

The 2022 Commonwealth Games could be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, with both the athletics and swimming world championships - due to be held between July and August 2021 - potentially moved back a year to accommodate an anticipated rescheduling of the Olympics for next summer.

The CGF has written to World Athletics and swimming's governing body FINA in an effort to work collaboratively with them on the potential rescheduling of their respective major events to 2022, when Birmingham is due to host the next Commonwealth Games from July 27 to August 7, 2022.

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David Grevemberg, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation told Sky Sports News: "We are working in unprecedented times.

"What we will end up having to do is to be more innovative, we will have to cooperate more.

"This is a great opportunity not to cannibalise each other or to step on each other's toes, but to actually work closer together and then ultimately we may have to start consolidating these opportunities and creating more space in the calendar so that athletes are able to participate at their peak and not be put in these inflexible situations."

The "enormous impact" of the postponement of this summer's Games can not be underestimated says Grevemberg.

"We have written to a number of international federations showing our solidarity, showing our supporting the decision that has been taken," Grevemberg said.

"The safety, security of athletes, fans and everyone involved in hosting a major sporting event is always paramount. It is not a delay (of the Olympics), it is a rescheduling of the Olympics and Paralympic Games in the sense that it has not been delayed until later this year.

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"It has actually been postponed to next year. That has an enormous impact. It is like trying to take the Titanic and park it in a Tesco parking lot. That is going to have a dramatic impact in terms of shifting people's schedules.

"The priorities for athletes, the mobilisations of resource and assets that were on route to Tokyo to deliver a fantastic event all have to change now.

"We are going to have to take a strong look at how we work with those international feds as they start to adapt their schedules for this year and the following years to essentially make space and ensure that we are still providing great safe opportunities for athletes, fans and the local communities that we are serving."

Grevemberg also expects closer examinations on the way major events are run going forward.

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"We need to really look at how we evaluate risk, the intelligence using beyond just our security intelligence but really looking at some of these potential impacts of pandemics on major sporting events," he added.

"I think this (coronavirus pandemic) will impact the way that we run sport, organise and enjoy sport in many years to come."