Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Thomas Bach, Head of the International Olympic Committee, agreed to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Games by a year on Tuesday as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic.

Vikas Krishan Yadav (boxing) and Neeraj Chopra (javelin throw) welcomed the move.

Yadav had earned the Tokyo ticket at the Asia-Oceania Olympic boxing qualifiers in Jordan in the 69kg category. Chopra had also qualified for the showpiece event. He was training in Turkey. He returned to India recently and has been in self-isolation.

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“At the end of the day, humanity has to trump sport, so I'm happy that the decision was made to postpone the Olympics amid the coronavirus situation. Obviously, the postponement will affect our preparation, but I think the extra time can help me prepare even better for my goal to win an Olympic Gold for India. I think it is important for all athletes to keep their focus and motivation and use this time to do whatever we can in terms of diet, nutrition and training so that hopefully, when the Olympics comes by next year, we will be in an even better condition to win medals for the country,” said Yadav.

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Chopra echoed similar sentiments citing how it would have been unfair to celebrate the Olympics when so many lives have been lost due to the Covid-19 virus.

“I think this was a welcome decision for us athletes in the circumstances and not something that came as a surprise. While we were looking forward to Tokyo2020, the environment wouldn't have been appropriate for the event to be celebrated the way it should be.

“I would say we should look at this positively as it would allow us a year more to plan and train for the Olympics, which is the biggest sporting event for many athletes. There will be some impact on preparations over the next few months till the situation is brought under control, but that is something that all athletes are facing equally. For now, I'm not thinking about the qualification; there are experts at the IOC and World Athletics who will take everything into consideration before making a decision.”