Japanese Ambassador asks Pakistani athletes to continue Olympic preparations

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Staff report

ISLAMABAD

Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, Matsuda Kuninori, Wednesday asked Pakistani athletes, who were set to take part in Tokyo 2020 Olympics & Paralympics in July, this year to continue their preparations for the event.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, after a wide-ranging consultations and deliberations Tuesday announced to postpone the Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games because of the coronavirus pandemic. The decision was taken to safeguard the health of the athletes and everybody involved in the games and the international community.

The IOC President Thomas Bach and Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, after a wide-ranging consultations and deliberations, have announced yesterday to postpone the Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games because of the coronavirus pandemic to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the games and the international community.

“Please continue preparations for the Olympic & Paralympic Games with renewed zeal and spirit”, the Japanese said in a message to Pakistani athletes.

Expressing gratitude to Lt General (Retd), Syed Arif Hasan, the President of Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) for his support, Matsuda said that Japan was determined to further support Pakistan in the field of sports and he was looking forward to further cooperating with POA.

He said that it is unfortunate but it was unavoidable that games had been postponed until summer 2021.

The IOC president said the Tokyo games would still be called the 2020 Olympics, even though they would be held in 2021 as ‘light at the end of pandemic tunnel’.

Matsuda expressed the hope that the pandemic COVID-19 would be defeated through the collective efforts of the international community. He also assured Pakistan all of his support in the face of this global challenge.