Japan, IOC set July 23 next year for start of delayed Olympics

Yoshiro Mori, President of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Organising Committee.
Yoshiro Mori, President of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Organising Committee.
Image: REUTERS/Issei Kato/Pool

Japanese organisers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided on Monday that the Tokyo Olympic Games would start on July 23, 2021, and run until August 8, Kyodo news reported.

The Games were postponed last week due to the deepening coronavirus outbreak.

The delay is the first in the 124-year history of the modern Olympics and represents a huge blow for Japan, which invested $13 billion in the run-up to the event, and raised $3 billion from domestic sponsors.

Earlier on Monday, the Games' chief executive, Toshiro Muto, said the committee was moving "in the direction" of honouring tickets bought for the 2020 Games at the rescheduled event, or providing refunds in case of scheduling changes,

"We want to honour the hopes of all those who purchased the tickets amid high demand," Muto told a news conference.

But it was too early to say what the additional costs of the delay would be, Muto said. The IOC and Japanese government succumbed to intense pressure from athletes and sporting bodies around the world last Tuesday by agreeing to push back the Games because of the coronavirus epidemic. 


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