Sprint star Asher-Smith switches focus to Tokyo 2021

London (AFP) –


Sprint star Dina Asher-Smith switched her focus to "Tokyo 2021" on Tuesday after the Olympic Games were postponed as British rowing chiefs also welcomed the decision to delay the event.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that the Games had been postponed to no later than the summer of 2021, saying it was impossible to hold them this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Asher-Smith, Britain's world 200m champion, had previously tweeted that she was frustrated by the IOC's proposed four-week window before a decision was made.

After the announcement on Tuesday, she posted on Instagram: "#Tokyo2021, Same fire, new dates. Stay at home and stay safe everyone xxx."

Double Olympic triathlon champion Alistair Brownlee, tweeted: "Evidently a very tough decision for the IOC and other stakeholders to make but in my opinion the right one. Both, for the message it sends to people around the world battling with the virus and to give clarity to athletes attempting to prepare."

Retired British track cyclist Callum Skinner, who fronts competitor-led movement Global Athlete, said the right decision had been made.

"Tokyo 2021 presents an amazing opportunity to host a full Games celebrating the world (hopefully) entering the "post-pandemic" phase," he tweeted.

Skinner, who won gold and silver medals at the 2016 Olympics and is a member of the British Olympic Association's (BOA) athletes' commission questioned the IOC's approach.

"Questions have to be asked of Thomas Bach's "full steam ahead" policy. This saga has endangered athletes, public health and damaged the Olympic movement. What's more he wanted this limbo to continue for 4 weeks"

British Rowing welcomed the "certainty" over the games.

"We are now able to start planning how we best support our athletes, coaches and all our programme staff throughout this time, both within British Rowing and as a wider group of Olympic and Paralympic sports in the UK," the organisation tweeted.

British Paralympic discus thrower Dan Greaves tweeted: "Absolutely the right decision to postpone both the Olympics & @Paralympics by a year. Health comes first & with that, athletes can now take care of theres to make sure they are able to make the hard work count!!"