Overnight in Tokyo, it was the bad with the head of the Japan Medical Association expressing his doubt that the Games in 2021 could proceed if there had not been a vaccine developed by that time.
“The key is a situation with the infections at that point. If the infections are under control only in Japan, it will still be difficult to hold the games unless the pandemic is over in the rest of the world,” said Yoshitaka Yokokura.
There had been good news earlier though with confirmation from the International Olympic Committee that an additional budget of $10.3 million (€9.5 million) was to be made available to National Olympic Committees to cover additional costs arising from holding the games over to 2021.
It also approved an additional $15 million (€13.7 million) to roll over the Olympic Solidarity Programme for athletes.
Ireland was granted €250,000 from this programme in 2017 whereby a total of eight Olympic hopefuls could be funded to the tune of around €625 a month. The Olympic Federation boosted that by a further four athletes with cover across Badminton, Canoeing, Golf, Athletics, Cycling, Shooting, Gymnastics, Rowing, Taekwondo, Judo, Swimming and Equestrian Sport.
The Men’s Hockey team also gained a scholarship to assist with their preparations to qualify but that ultimately came up short against Canada.
Athletes and Governing Bodies need to continue with the new dates of 2021 as their target. The financial boost will ease some of their concerns in keeping going for one year longer than expected.
The medical ones are out of their hands and we can only hope.
Sport for Business will host an informal meeting for Members this morning, April 28th at 11 AM to look at a number of the scenarios that are being planned for around a return to sporting activities. This Meeting is now full.