Athletics South Africa (ASA) has expressed happiness at the announcement on Monday of the new dates of the Olympic Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which will now be held on July 23 to August 8, 2021
This comes barely a week after the IOC issued a joint statement through President Thomas Bach and the Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo, announcing the postponement of the 2020 version because of the Covid-19 virus which has led most of the countries around the world to a lockdown, affecting movement.
"This is good news. It will now allow coaches and athletes to re-align their preparation programmes towards the bigger picture," said ASA President, Aleck Skhosana.
"The early announcement is obviously on assumption that the virus will be defeated soon or reduced to a manageable point that will allow for the resumption of full training by athletes around the world.
"We are aware that our world governing body is in talks with the Commonwealth Games Federation to align dates in the light of the Olympic Games and is also working to find new dates for the World Athletics Championships in Oregon in 2022. The outcome of these discussions will assist all federations, athletes, coaches and sponsors to put our ducks in a row."
Skhosana then took the opportunity to continue reminding fellow South Africans to abide by the rules which were issued by the government in a battle to defeat the pandemic, starting observing the 21 days of lockdown declared under the national state of disaster by the President Cyril Ramaphosa.
"Let us play our part in decreasing the spread of virus by staying at home. We must only travel when it is absolute necessary and to do so within the stipulated guidelines. We still discourage long runs and other forms of running outside your homes." continued Skhosana.
"Our athletes, coaches, administrators, support teams, staff, and the entire Athletics family are urged to unite in fighting the virus with our government."
- Athletics South Africa