Coronavirus: SNOC monitoring developments 'very closely' but declines to join others in urging Olympics delay

SINGAPORE – The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) said on Monday (March 23) that it is monitoring “very closely” the current developments surrounding a potential postponement of the Tokyo Olympics because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, it did not say if it supported the call by some national committees – like Canada and Australia – to postpone the scheduled July 24-Aug 9 Games to 2021.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Sunday after an emergency meeting that it is stepping up its “scenario planning” for the Olympics – including a possible postponement – as the coronavirus pandemic spreads, as pressure mounted from athletes, federations and national committees to do just that.

In a media statement on Monday, an SNOC spokesman said that the IOC had consulted national committees on developments of the Olympic Games a week earlier.

The spokesman added: “The cancellation of sport events and travel restrictions have affected the athletes who are campaigning for the Olympic Games.

“The affected national sports associations (NSAs) are making adjustments wherever necessary in their training programmes as developments on the Olympic qualification events unfold.”

Swimmers Joseph Schooling and Quah Zheng Wen, diver Jonathan Chan and gymnast Tan Sze En have earned their spots at Tokyo 2020, while the Republic will also be represented in sailing, shooting and table tennis.

The country’s top shuttlers, fencers and shooters are also targeting to qualify.

“This is an unprecedented situation for the whole world,” said the SNOC spokesman.

“We remain in solidarity with our stakeholders, including our athletes, our NSAs, the IOC and the Singapore Government, in their efforts to contain the virus and protect the community.

“We remain guided by the authorities’ respective health and travel advisories and will continue to work with our stakeholders on safeguarding the interests of our athletes and officials as they pursue their Olympic aspirations.”

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