How athletes across the world reacted to postponement of Tokyo 2020

Dina Asher-Smith was philosophical about the postponement, posting 'same fire, new dates' (PA Images)
19:29pm, Tue 24 Mar 2020
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With the long-awaited announcement today that both the Olympics and Paralympics have been postponed until 2021, athletes from across the globe were quick to react to the news.

Here's how the decision to push back the Games until next year was received...

British Athlete Dina Asher-Smith posted a photo on Instagram and captioned it: "#Tokyo2021. Same fire, new dates. Stay at home and stay safe everyone."

British cyclist Elinor Barker said she deferred her final year of study so she could focus on the Olympics.

"A few months ago I decided to defer the last year of studying for a degree. Because I thought I wouldn't have time. Because I was gonna be focusing on the Olympics.

"The extra fun irony is that the only reason I started studying in the first place was because it gave me something to do on training camps, which my coach often referred to as 'quarantine'."

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Athlete Jemma Reekie tweeted that she would use the extra year to 'get faster'. She wrote: "2021. I am going to use this extra year to get faster, stronger and fitter for the Olympics. 

"I will use the hunger and excitement to push myself and make every minute count. Stay safe, be sensible and do what we are told. This will come to a end."

Sprinter Adam Gemili tweeted that he was thankful for clarity surrounding the event.

"London 2012, Rio 2016, Tokyo 2021. Thankful to finally have some clarity regarding The Olympic Games. A huge decision but I think the right one for sure.  

"Time to regain, look after each other during this difficult period and go again when the time is right!"

Para-swimmer Chantalle Zijderveld wrote: "The goal doesn’t change. Only the date."

American marathon hopeful Stephanie Bruce tweeted: "The Olympics postponed until 2021. Tough call, the right call. I’ve never made our US Olympic team, but the dream is still there.

"I believe sport has the power to connect us, inspire us and motivate us. So I hold onto that hope during the postponement of the Games. #Tokyo2020"

400m runner Laura de Witte wrote: "The goal won’t change #Tokyo2021"

British diver Tom Daley posted a photo on Instagram with the caption: "Waiting one more year to reach for our dreams is well worth the sacrifice to help keep people safe. 

"Yes, I’ll be another year older and my body will feel that, but I promise to work my tail off to make TeamGB as proud as I can when the time comes!"

Para-athlete Will Bayley was thrilled with the news after he picked up an injury while competing in Strictly Come Dancing which meant he couldn't compete this summer.

Now the games have been postponed he may qualify to compete.

He wrote: "Current mood! #Tokyo2021 back in the game. DESTINY AWAITS"

Heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson wrote: "Waited 8 years for this, what’s another 1 in the grand scheme of things?

"As an athlete, it’s heartbreaking news about the Olympics being postponed until 2021, but it’s for all the right reasons and the safety of everyone! Hope everyone keeps safe and stay indoors x"

Marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge tweeted: "All in all a very wise decision to postpone the Olympics until 2021. I look forward to come back to Japan to defend my Olympic title next year and look forward to witness a wonderful event. 

"I wish everybody good health in these challenging times."

Five-time Paralympic gold medallist Hannah Cockroft wrote: "It’s the right decision, but it doesn’t make it any less gutting. We put so much into being in the best shape of our lives every 4 years, to add another year onto that is tough. 

"But we have to just use this time to get stronger and faster, so that #Tokyo2021 is the biggest and best Games ever. Those that use this time wisely will come out on top when the Games eventually come around. 

"The work and the wait are worth it, keep working, stay motivated but most importantly, stay safe, so this decision isn’t in vain" 

Greek pole vaulter Katerina Stefanidi wrote: "Same desire, same goals, new year #Tokyo2021"

Para-athlete and cyclist Kadeena Cox wrote: "Different time line, same goal. The right decision to make and thank you for those put in the hard position to have to make the decision!

"Let’s stick together in these tough times and come out the other side stronger mentally and physically"

British 400m runner Zoey Clark tweeted: "Tokyo 2021 it is then. This last week has been full of challenges and uncertainty but I 100% support the decision made to postpone the Olympics.

"The dream is still there, only the timeframe has changed . For now keeping everyone safe  is the number one priority."

Para-athlete Maria Lyle wrote: "Instead of competing at the Paralympics this year, I’ll be contending with the panic buyers for toilet roll!

"In all seriousness, it was the best decision made with everyone’s best intentions at heart. Keep safe and all eyes onto Tokyo 2021."

Brit para-runner Sophie Hahn said: "It must have been a very difficult decision to postpone the Tokyo games especially when so many people had worked so hard to make it incredible.

"It will still be incredible next year. We will make sure of that. #lifeisprecious #stayhomesavelives"

Sprinter Ojie Edoburun wrote: "Rio 2016 was my first Olympic games and is still one of my proudest achievements getting there at a young age.

"I didn’t get the opportunity to compete so #tokyo2020 would’ve given me the chance to. That goal hasn’t changed it’s just delayed 12 months! The safety of ourselves and others around us is paramount."

Hurdler Lolo Jones was going to retire this summer but her plans have now been delayed.

"Retirement will have to wait another year. #Tokyo2021"

Finally, British wheelchair basketball player and two-time paralympic bronze medallist Abdi Jama wrote: "The Paralympic Games has been officially postponed to 2021 as a result of the #coronavirus outbreak I think the correct decision had been made.#Tokyo2021  #paralympicsgames #japan  #RoadToTokyo