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POC prexy Bambol Tolentino supports Tokyo Olympics postponement

Bambol Tolentino, on behalf of the POC, calls on the athletes to stay COVID-19 free as he supports the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to 2021. Ivan Saldajeno (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--POC president Bambol Tolentino said that he is supporting the looming postponement of the Tokyo Olympics due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"I favor a postponement because the health and safety of everyone in sports—both in the Philippines and all over the world—is paramount in this Covid-19 pandemic," Tolentino said on Tuesday.

His statement came hours after IOC member Dick Pound revealed that the said body is indeed postponing the games scheduled from July 24-Aug. 9.

[Related Story: Report: Tokyo Olympics postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak]

IOC president Thomas Bach ruled out the possibility of completely canceling the games but admitted that a postponement is now possible, and Tolentino favors the said idea.

"It’s better to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympics rather than cancellation so as not to lose our chance for our first gold medal—or even more golds," he added. "More Filipinos have more chance to qualify."

Tolentino further said, "A postponement would mean more time to train for those who have already qualified and for those who are still trying to qualify."

At the moment, the IOC is looking to push the games to next year, and Tolentino is liking the new proposed schedule.

"A 2021 schedule is ideal enough," he quipped.

Tolentino then said, "The POC advises all athletes, coaches, officials and stakeholders to stay safe, stay at home and observe government and Health Department protocols so we could defeat this virus."

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