Jamaican athletes react to postponement of Tokyo Olympics

Voices of Jamaican athletes Omar McLeod, Danielle Williams and Fedrick Dacres

Three of Jamaica's Olympic and World Championship medallists have welcomed the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to 2021 due to the continued global spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. 2016 Olympic Games 110m hurdles champion Omar McLeod, who has expressed disappointment to the postponement of the Tokyo Games, believes the best decision was made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the athletes.

“I am devastated and truly feel it for us athletes who have been working tirelessly to accomplish our goals we’ve set for this year and one of those common goals would have been the Olympic Games. I do understand though that our health comes first and we cannot be naïve into thinking that this coronavirus pandemic isn’t something serious,” he said.

2015 sprint hurdles world champion Danielle Williams believes the right call was made. “As disappointing as it is, it (the decision) was not totally unexpected from me. Once the international sporting scene started to postpone or cancel their events, it was only a matter of time for the Olympics to be postponed. Obviously a lot of us have been affected by the coronavirus; for me training was getting a little bit harder and harder to do each day with the gyms and tracks closed,” said Williams.

World Championship discus silver medallist from Doha 2019 and national record holder Fedrick Dacres also agreed. 
“I think the best decision has been made because when all is said and done it’s all about the well-being of the athletes because we are the ones going out there to compete. I think this is a wake-up call and life lesson for athletes because we don’t really appreciate the semi permanence of this being an athlete thing and we should have multiple streams of income just in case of times like this,” noted Dacres.

Meanwhile, Ato Boldon, the coach of double World Under 20 champion Briana Williams says this postponement gives more time to the 17 year old to improve her craft. The Tokyo Paralympic Games will also be postponed until 2021.

The Olympic Games have never been delayed in their 124 year modern history, though they were cancelled altogether in 1916, 1940 and 1944 during the two World Wars.

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