New 2021 dates confirmed for Tokyo Olympic Games

The Tokyo Olympics will take place between July 23 and August 8 next year after they were postponed due to the accelerating coronavirus pandemic.

The Paralympic Games will now take place from August 24 to September 5, the International Olympic Committee confirmed on Monday, following a meeting of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee.

A decision to postpone the Olympic and Paralympic Games amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis was taken last week by the IOC and the Japanese government.

The new dates are exactly a year after those originally planned for 2020, a decision taken to minimalise disruption to the international sporting calendar and allow time for qualifying rounds.

The IOC said the new dates would give health authorities and those organising the Games the "maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic."

Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee President Yoshiro Mori. Credit: AP

The confirmation of the new dates comes less than a week after the forced postponement of the Games.

IOC president Thomas Bach said: "With this announcement, I am confident that, working together with the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, the Tokyo metropolitan government, the Japanese government and all our stakeholders, we can master this unprecedented challenge.

"Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel. These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel."

Tokyo 2020 organising committee president Yoshiro Mori said he had proposed the July 23 to August 8 time frame to the IOC, and that Bach had agreed following consultations with the international sports federations.

International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons added: "When the Paralympic Games do take place in Tokyo next year, they will be an extra-special display of humanity uniting as one, a global celebration of human resilience and a sensational showcase of sport.

"With the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games 512 days away, the priority for all those involved in the Paralympic Movement must be to focus on staying safe with their friends and family during this unprecedented and difficult time."