British sprinter Adam Gemili says the decision to keep the Tokyo Olympics as a summer Games will ensure higher quality performances at the postponed competition.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed on Monday that the Tokyo Games will be pushed back almost exactly a year, to start on July 23, 2021, with the coronavirus pandemic preventing them from taking place as originally scheduled.
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There had been speculation that the Games could be moved to spring 2021, but Gemili told Sky Sports News that such a move could have lowered the level of competition in Tokyo.
“To have it in the summer makes the most sense because athletes will be fully into their season, they’ll be well raced, very sharp, in the best sort of shape they could be in,” said Gemili, who came fourth in the 200 metres at Rio 2016.
“Usually towards the sort of springtime there aren’t that many races around, you’re just coming off the back of an indoor season – that’s when you get back into a heavy period of training.
“So to have an Olympic Games then, to be at your peak, would be so difficult for many athletes. We had to do it a few years for the Commonwealth Games in Australia, and the performances weren’t obviously as great as they maybe could have been for a lot of athletes.
“So the fact that we get the whole summer now to prepare, and then sort of towards the back end of the summer we get to go out and show everyone the hard work, that’s the best that could be. So, I’m really glad they’ve made the decision to keep it as a summer Games.”
The new dates for the Olympics took into account other events that have also been postponed by the coronavirus pandemic, including football’s European Championships.
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