Amidst the global pandemic of coronavirus, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have been rescheduled by the International Olympics Committee (IOC) for staging in 2021, and the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) has expressed its relief at that decision.
Explaining that the AAG has been relieved of a heavy burden in regard to crunch time qualification and planning, AAG president Aubrey Hutson, via telephone interview with Guyana Times Spor, detailed some of the concerns the AAG had prior to receiving news that the Olympic Games had been postponed.
“The Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) was constantly reviewing our position, and supplying comments to the South American Confederation as well as World Athletics as it relates to how we qualify our track and field athletes to the Olympics under the prevailing conditions, since there were no international meets going on, and even locally; all the countries were asked to shut down their championships or track meets,” Hutson explained.
Expressing elation at this recent development, Hutson explained that it would have been an uphill task for Guyanese to qualify for participation if the Games were to be held this year.
“So, with the limited time frame we had between now and July; as a matter of fact, we would have had to submit our final team, and make qualifying standards by mid-June; so we knew it was an uphill task, and we’re really and truly happy that the Games have been pushed back,” Hutson explained.
Highlighting his concern for the athletes’ safety, Hutson revealed that local sportsmen and women have been advised to take precautions, but to remain consistent in their training.
“All in all, I think it’s a good thing to push it back. I mean, the athletes’ safety comes first, and also, we’ve been advising our athletes to stay as sharp as possible by finding new and innovative ways to train even at home. Whether it’s their pushups, their squats, your skipping, or early morning runs in the neighbourhoods, (it’s okay) once they maintain that social distancing,” he noted.
Huston also revealed that the AAG is patiently awaiting the new dates for staging of the international event, and is ready to formulate a plan geared at securing maximum qualification.
“Once we get word of the new dates as it relates to all the other championships, the AAG will sit down again, look at its calendar, and see how best we can put together a schedule that will have our athletes up and running and well prepared when those championships come around,” he affirmed.
Meanwhile, the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA), in a release on Tuesday, also welcomed the rescheduling of the Tokyo Games.