Jamaica is not rushing to join Canada and Australia to withdraw from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Jamaica is also not joining the calls made by the USA and several other countries for a postponement of the games.

Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) boss Christopher Samuda, in a Gleaner story, said: “We are monitoring the situation very carefully in the interest of our athletes.”

“We will be coming to a decision, perhaps next month, when we have more information, particularly from the medical experts and from the World Health Organization,” said Samuda.

Samuda’s statement to the Gleaner came two days before IOC president said a decision should come in four weeks.

“At this stage, our position remains the same: that our athletes must prepare,” Samuda said.

Canada announced their decision after IOC President Thomas Bach told athletes of a possible postponement. “Cancellation would not solve any problem and would help nobody. Therefore it is not on our agenda,” Bach said.

Despite that statement, The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) “urgently call on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to postpone the Games for one year.”
“This is not solely about athlete health – it is about public health,” the Canadians said in a statement.

The Australians sent a similar message to the IOC. “Australian athletes should prepare for a Tokyo Olympic Games in the northern summer of 2021,” the Australian Olympic Committee said in a statement.

Several athletes, sporting federations and fans have been calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the games because of the coronavirus, which has killed over 15,300 people worldwide.

The virus caused many qualifying events to be postponed or cancelled in the last two months. Some athletes are unable to train due to the containment measures in their country.

Garth Gayle, Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) general secretary, confirmed discussions were held with NACAC 32 members on the issue.

“Negotiations are still going on, and the matter is at a delicate point,” Gayle was quoted by the Gleaner saying.
“We are noting very carefully, in Jamaica, the pronouncements at the IOC and World Athletics level, and for us, it is always what is best for our athletes.
“Our athletes need to be able to compete but also be able to compete in a safe environment,” added Gayle, who is also a JOA director.


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