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Tokyo Olympics set for July-August 2021

The Olympic Rings. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
29th March, 2020
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The postponed Tokyo Olympics look set to have the same time slot in 2021 as originally planned for this year, according to reports.

Japanese broadcaster NHK and the New York Times reported on Sunday that the preferred option is to open the Games on July 23, with the closing ceremony on August 8, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The Olympics were originally set for July 24 to August 9 this year before being pushed back in an unprecedented move by the International Olympic Committee and local organisers because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Paralympics are also to keep their slot, expected to be held August 24 to September 5, 2021, according to NHK.

IOC president Thomas Bach said last week a final decision should be made within the next three weeks. NHK said a new date could be confirmed within a week.

Another emergency IOC executive board meeting is reportedly scheduled for Sunday, while Japanese organisers are set to meet Monday.

Bach has been open to other dates and some international federations had suggested moving the Games to spring 2021, to avoid Tokyo’s intense summer heat, which has been a concern.

They include table tennis body ITTF, which is holding world championships from June 17-26 next year in the US.

But ITTF president Thomas Weikert admitted that the likely new slot is “realistic” even though it is “far from ideal.”

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Keeping the July-August slot makes it easier to accommodate the Games in a full sports calendar and should also be the preferred scenario for American broadcaster NBC, who have paid more that $US12 billion ($A19 billion) for the rights 2014-2032.

Several world championships, including in the Olympic showcase sports of swimming and athletics, will have to be rescheduled to fit in the Games next year.

World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe, the chief organiser of the London 2012 Olympics, has said his body and local organisers are looking into the possibility to push back the worlds in Oregon to 2022.

Swimming body FINA are also reportedly flexible but said to want to keep the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, in 2021.

© AAP