Olympic Postponement Would Impact Other Tournaments

The expected but shocking decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics in the face of the coronavirus pandemic will have a knock-on effect on other competitions, notably the world athletics and swimming championships.

The International Olympic Committee has not defined a new date for the Games. It has simply indicated that these should be carried out “no later than the summer of 2021.”


But undoubtedly, the changes in the calendar will impact two of the most relevant sports on the Olympic program.

The athletics world championship is scheduled for the middle of next year in Eugene, North American state of Oregon, where a stadium will be built that will house 30,000 people on the site of the historic Hayward field.

Meanwhile, the swimming world championship is scheduled for the same dates in Fukuoka, Japan.

Paul Doyle, one of the most influential agents of athletes, considers that the Eugene World Cup should be postponed until at least mid-2022, in the midst of what will be essentially a year of hiatus in this sport.

“That makes more sense,” he said. “There will be no world championships in 2022, so if we move it to that year, it solves a lot of problems. If we leave it in the same year, it is not fair to have the Olympic Games and the World Games simultaneously. How do you choose the teams? ”

It will be the first time that this competition, held four years ago, is hosted by the United States.

But now, the timing has been in doubt.

The World Cup is scheduled from August 6 to 15. But those dates will obviously not work if the Olympics are postponed for exactly one year. Originally, they were to take place from July 24 to August 9, 2020.

If the Olympic Games were to take place in April or May – an idea that would be seriously considered – the plans regarding the World Cup would go ahead.

Still, Doyle thinks it would be better to postpone the World Cup until 2022.

“I don’t think putting this in the same year makes much sense, especially when bringing them to 2022 should be relatively easy,” he said. “I don’t know the whole situation in the city of Eugene, I would imagine it would be good to give it a little more time.”

Swimming also performs its main competition outside the Olympics in an odd year.

The 2021 World Cup, which includes swimming, diving (including high altitude), toilet polo, synchronized swimming and open water, was due to take place from July 16 to August 1 in Fukuoka, about 1,088 kilometers (675 miles) to southwest of Tokyo on the island of Kyushu.

Nor will that date be convenient if the Olympics are rescheduled for the summer of 2021.

But Cornel Marculescu, general director of the International Swimming Federation (Fina), considered that there is no chance that the next world championship will be postponed to 2022.

“No, no, no, no, no, no,” he said defiantly in a phone call with The Associated Press.

Murculescu stressed that the International Olympic Committee contemplates two options for the Games, which would have a direct impact on the next steps of Fina.

“If they do it in the summer, we will have to change the dates” of the World Cup, he indicated. “If they do it at the beginning of the summer, maybe we won’t have to touch the dates. All we will do is wait for the IOC decision. “

In the event that the summer is chosen, Fina would have to decide whether to hold the World Cup before or after the Olympics.


AP journalists Andrew Dampf in Rome and Pat Graham in Denver contributed to this report.


Paul Newberry is on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963.