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Tokyo Olympics to be held from July 23 to Aug 8 in 2021

The Summer Games had never been postponed in its 31 editions from the first modern Olympics in 1896, although they were cancelled in 1916, 1940 and 1944 due to war.

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Tokyo, March 30 : The 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, will now be held from July 23 to August 8 next year and the Para Olympic Games will be held from August 24 to September 5.

The new dates of Tokyo Olympics, which had been scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9 in the Japanese capital, were agreed Monday between the International Olympic Committee and local organizers, as per a report from Japan’s Kyodo News agency said and further confirmed by sources in the Indian Olympic Association.

A task force established by the Tokyo Games organizing committee charged with handling the delay opted for a similar time frame in 2021 in order to use existing plans for the games as much as possible, added the report.

Meanwhile, Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori has warned international federations that it will be a “major challenge” on deciding who covers the additional costs arising from the postponement of the Olympic Games.

The announcement of the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics was made by the IOC and the organising committee last week after IOC president Thomas Bach’s telephonic conversation with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The Summer Games had never been postponed in its 31 editions from the first modern Olympics in 1896, although they were cancelled in 1916, 1940 and 1944 due to war.

Nearly 725,000 people have been infected globally and at least 34,000 deaths have been reported till now because of coronavirus.

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Australia suspends Olympic bid amid COVID-19 recovery

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Sydney, May 25 (IANS) Australia’s Queensland has suspended its bid to host the 2032 Olympics recently as the state government focuses on economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed the bid process had been paused, reports Xinhua news agency.

“It’s just on hold. I wouldn’t read too much into that,” Palaszczuk told reporters last weekend.

“We’re focused absolutely on the economic recovery at the moment.”

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said it fully supported the Queensland government’s position in placing the Brisbane 2032 candidature on hold.

AOC President John Coates said in a recent statement that meetings of the Olympic Candidature Leadership Group (OCLG) scheduled earlier this year were deferred, allowing governments to focus on dealing with COVID-19.

Coates said he’d proposed to OCLG members that the meetings would not proceed while all three levels of governments dealt with the pandemic.

He also told the AOC Annual General Meeting on May 9 that discussions with the IOC on the candidature would resume when appropriate.

“We all understand there are pressing issues of public health and community wellbeing for governments to address,” Coates said.

“The candidature will have its role to play in terms of jobs and growth in the Queensland economy once we have seen our way through the current crisis.”

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‘Hockey has lost its brightest star’: Balbir Singh Sr passes away

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New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Hockey India has expressed condolences on the sad demise of legendary player Balbir Singh Sr who breathed his last on Monday morning in Mohali. The triple Olympic Champion and World Cup-winning team manager had been battling for life since May 8 when he was hospitalised.

“Today, we have not only lost our greatest hockey legend but we have also lost ‘our guiding light’. While his achievements in post-independent era have been well-documented, Balbir Sr remained the greatest fan of the sport and was always there when we needed his advice. Hockey has lost its brightest star and everyone at Hockey India is pained by this news,” said Hockey India President Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad.

He further said: “Balbir Singh Sr’s exemplary achievements, his passion for the sport, his life as an icon of the game will remain an example for generations to come. On behalf of the federation, I express my deepest condolences to his family.”

He was the most decorated athlete in Indian sports history with Olympic medals in 1948, 1952 and 1956 Summer Games. He coached the Indian team which won the bronze medal at the 1971 World Cup and was manager of the Indian team that won the gold medal at the 1975 World Cup.

He had scored five goals in India’s 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the gold medal match of the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Under his captaincy, India scored 38 goals and conceded none on its way to the gold medal in 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

Beating England 4-0 in their own backyard during the final of the 1948 Olympic Games as an independent nation was Balbir Sr’s ‘greatest moment’.

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Former Pak batsman Taufeeq Umar tests positive for COVID-19

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New Delhi, Former Pakistan opener Taufeeq Umar tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. Umar featured in 44 Tests and 12 ODIs, amassing 2,963 and 504 runs respectively for Pakistan.

He played his last international match in 2014, a Test against New Zealand in Dubai.

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