Japan and the IOC agreed to postpone the Tokyo Games scheduled for this summer until 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Games, which were due to commence on July 24, will now undergo a simplification process that will strip down some elements of the events to help maintain athletes’ safety.

Speaking on a conference call, IOC president Thomas Bach said there had been “very good work in progress” on plans for the rearranged 2021 Games, and revealed that more details would be provided to a full IOC meeting conducted via videoconferencing on Friday.

“We remain fully committed to celebrating Tokyo 2020 next year in July and August,” said Bach.

“The entire IOC is following the principle we established before the postponement (in March) that the first priority is about the safety of all participants.

“We continue to be guided by the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and based on this advice we are preparing multiple scenarios.

“We don’t know the health situation one year from now.”

While Bach may have been unsure about the precise scenario adopted at next year’s Games, he did say the aim is to hold events in front of spectators.

“We are working for a solution which on the one hand is safeguarding the health of all participants and, on the other hand, is also reflecting the Olympic spirit,” he said.

He also revealed that the 2022 Youth Olympics in Dakar, Senegal were set to be postponed until 2026 after an agreement was struck between the IOC and the host nation.

“This allows the IOC and national Olympic committees to better plan activities which have been strongly affected by the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games and subsequent postponement of other major sports events,” he said.

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