What's another year?

Sports | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 26 Mar 2020

Olympic stars and medal hopefuls welcomed the decision to postpone the Games, exhaling a collective sigh of relief tinged with disappointment as they began to set their sights on 2021.

"It's good to have clarity now," said powerhouse American swimmer Katie Ledecky, who had been left without a pool to train in as restrictions in California over coronavirus fears shut down the Stanford University facilities.

Britain's Adam Peaty, the Olympic 100 meters breast stroke champion, added: "A lot of athletes can breathe. We felt under pressure to train and compete ... [with the decision] we don't have to be in shape over summer and we don't have to put unnecessary risk on others."

Many athletes said the right decision had been made.

The deadly coronavirus pandemic has left years of carefully choreographed Olympic training plans in tatters as countries across the globe imposed stringent restrictions on movement and travel.

Britain's Katerina Johnson-Thompson, the world heptathlon champion, tweeted: "Waited eight years for this, what's another one in the grand scheme of things?"

Dina Asher-Smith, the world 200m champion, posted on Instagram: "Tokyo 2021, Same fire, new dates."

US sprint star Allyson Felix, 34, whose six Olympic golds are the most for any female track and field athlete, said the delay won't halt her bid for a last share of Games glory.

Jun Mizutani, the 30-year-old Japanese table tennis player who competed at the Beijing, London and Rio Games, reacted lightheartedly to the news, tweeting a digitally aged photo of himself with the message: "I can do it".

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