The Tokyo 2020 organizing committee has acknowledged that rescheduling the Olympic Games to 2021 will incur "massive" additional costs, and confirmed that athletes who had already qualified for the event will keep their places when the showpiece takes place next year.
国际奥委会要与各个项目的国际单项体育协会协商拿出方案，以重新确定各个项目奥运资格的归属。Around 57 percent of the 11,000 scheduled participants for Tokyo had already gained spots at the Games when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Tuesday to postpone the Games to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IOC and 32 international sports federations held a teleconference on Thursday where it decided to respect the qualification process.
"Thomas Bach (the IOC President) first explained the reasons for the postponement of the Games, then said that the athletes qualified for Tokyo 2020 would automatically be qualified for 2021," said one of the participants in the conference.
"One of the main subjects was to know when and how to organize the qualifications. In some federations, many sportsmen and sportswomen are not qualified and it takes at least three months for the Olympic Games to organize them."
受全球新冠肺炎疫情影响，许多东京奥运会资格赛、积分赛近日被迫宣布取消、推迟。There is no definite date yet for the rescheduled Games with Bach saying Tuesday the Tokyo Olympics "must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community."
Many Olympic sports, such as boxing, saw the vast majority of their qualifying tournaments either interrupted or cancelled due to the global health situation. Others, such as sailing however, already had 90 percent of their competitors qualified.
Meanwhile, chief executive of Tokyo 2020's organizing committee Toshiro Muto let it all hang out on Thursday, saying the task of reorganizing the biggest sporting event in the world was going to be a "unprecedented" challenge as a new taskforce was established to deal with a massive logistical headache.
"One by one, we need to ensure the problems we face can be solved," Muto said in opening remarks at the first meeting of the taskforce. "Additional expenses are going to be quite massive we assume. With regards to our revenues, we need to make a lot of effort there."
Muto gave no estimates for how much the process of postponing the Olympic and Paralympic Games could cost.
But according to Japanese financial newspaper The Nikkei , the organizers estimate it will cost an extra 2.7 billion U.S. dollars, including costs for venue rentals, rebooking hotels and additional payments for staff and security guards, among others. Those costs could still come down depending on the outcome of negotiations.
The Olympics have never faced this much disruption in peacetime, and the decision to delay the event has created unprecedented challenges, Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori said.
Tokyo 2020 staff "will experience difficulties they have never experienced before. I am sure they will rise to the occasion. This is going to be a very difficult task that we are facing," he said.
No deadlines have yet been set for the rescheduling of the Games, which are now due to take place by summer 2021, but Mori said he would ensure "all the decisions are made as quickly as possible."
Muto underscored the scale of the task ahead, saying even he "didn't imagine at all we would be tested to this degree."
"We want to make sure we go beyond this test and that next year in Tokyo, the torch is lit for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. We believe this is the mission we face."
国际奥委会对此没有正式答复。On a separate matter, The IOC has been accused of putting athletes' health in danger after two Turkish boxers and their head coach tested positive for COVID-19 after returning home from an Olympic qualification tournament in London last week.
The Boxing Road to Tokyo tournament, featuring competitors from across Europe, started on March 14 but was suspended after just three days.
Eyup Gozgec, president of the Turkish Boxing Federation, was scathing about the tournament in the British capital.
"The International Olympic Committee Boxing Task Force and the local committee in London, responsible for the organization, acted as if nothing happened rather than postpone the tournament over coronavirus while every corner of the world has been on fire since December," he said.
Gozgec, who is also vice-president of the European Boxing Confederation (EUBC), said his team went to London on March 11 to prepare for the tournament but found no protective measures in place at their hotel or elsewhere.
"There were no protective measures in the hotels we were staying, whether it be hygienic disinfectants, gloves or a warning sign," he said. "All the coaches and athletes ate in self-service style from the same kitchen. There was neither a warning nor any other measure as if the virus had not visited there."
An IOC spokesperson was quoted as saying by the Guardian: "For understandable reasons we will wait to receive the details from those concerned before making an informed comment.”
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