The President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, Engr Habu Gumel, has said Nigerian athletes who have qualified and those who are hoping to qualify for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics should be spurred by the new date for the games as announced by the International Olympics Committee.
On Monday, the host nation Japan and IOC announced July 23- August 8, 2021 as the new date for the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Gumel in a statement said the new date has underlined the fact that there is still hope for sports despite the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
He also said the announcement is a sliver linen silver linen across a gloomy sky as the world continues its battle to overcome the deadly scourge.
Gumel said the new date will give athletes, coaches, investors and governments a renewed hope as they continue their preparation.
Speaking further, the treasurer of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) said "The IOC is aware that all Olympic Movement stakeholders and the athletes face significant challenges in securing the final qualification places for the Tokyo Games.
"Even in some countries, athletes are finding it difficult to continue their regular training schedules but the IOC has reassured that all the athletes will have their time for the qualification window as new dates will be made available very soon so as to give clarity to all the actions."
Furthermore, the IOC member expressed confidence that with the measures being taken by various authorities around the world, the COVID-19 virus will soon be curtailed
He, therefore, encouraged all Nigerian athletes across the world to continue their preparation for the Games with a renewed vigour.
"The Nigeria Olympic Committee is equally hopeful for speedy solutions to the health challenges posed by Covid-19.
"On a brighter side, we all can take advantage of the extended period to adequately prepare our contingent for a glorious outing at the Tokyo Olympic Games."
Meanwhile, the IOC has established a Task Force, code named "Here We Go" to ensure co-ordinated actions by all stakeholders with a mandate to constantly keep all stakeholders abreast of the situation.