World champion Barker 'devastated' by Olympic decision and reveals she deferred her degree for Tokyo Games

Barker was crowned points race world champion last month (PA Images)
21:51pm, Wed 25 Mar 2020
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Olympic and world champion Elinor Barker has revealed she is 'devastated' by the decision to postpone the Tokyo Games until next year.

The Welsh rider, who was a part of the team pursuit quartet that triumphed at the Rio Games in 2016, won GB's only gold at the world championships last month in the points race.

Barker winning the points race in Poland earlier this year (PA Images)

And she admits that not being able to take that superb form into an Olympics this summer as a result of the coronavirus outbreak is crushing, albeit an understandable decision.

"Well, that's that. Olympics postponed a year and Tokyo 2020 becomes Tokyo 2021. I'm devastated. That's not to say I disagree with the decision, 100% understand and respect the reasons.

"I know there are bigger issues right now, and this pales in comparison to the loss a lot of people around the world are experiencing, but I can't pretend it doesn't hurt a little."

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Barker also spoke about the fact that she had passed up the opportunity to study a degree in order to concentrate on the Games, something she now looks back on with frustration.

"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," she added.

"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'."