Olympic Games Decision expected mid-April; African Nations Pressure IOC to Run Games as Planned

"No-one wants to see the Olympic Games postponed but as I have said publicly, we cannot hold the event at all costs, certainly not at the cost of athlete safety, and a decision on the Olympic Games must become very obvious very quickly," Coe said. "I believe that time has come and we owe it to our athletes to give them respite where we can."

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While the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) leads the world with their announcement that they will be sending no athletes to a 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games due to the COVID-19 epidemic, others continue to hope for a 2020 event including Namibia.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) stated that they will decide by or before mid-April.

Other nations and sport organizations have also put pressure on the IOC including World Athletics, and the Norwegian Olympic Committee with letters requesting a postponement.

Athletes have also complained including Canada’s 400-metre hurdle specialist Sage Watson and former athlete and IOC member Hayley Wickenheiser.

However, the president of Namibia’s Olympic Committee (NNOC) claims that fellow African leaders support the Games proceeding as planned.

Abner Xoagub at a media conference said, “All the African Olympic Committees had a conference call with the IOC President Thomas Bach for an update on the situation on Wednesday and all the members supported the motion to proceed with the Games.”

According to Xoagub, 57 per cent of athletes have already qualified for the Games.

Meanwhile, Brazilian Olympic Committee has been closing training facilities to due to the pandemic.

Training camps in Japan have closed ahead of the Olympics due to coronavirus. American athletes support a postponement after a survey.

“No-one wants to see the Olympic Games postponed but as I have said publicly, we cannot hold the event at all costs, certainly not at the cost of athlete safety, and a decision on the Olympic Games must become very obvious very quickly,” Said Sebastian Coe.

“I believe that time has come and we owe it to our athletes to give them respite where we can.”

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