The President of Portuguese Judo Federation, Jorge Fernandes, welcomed today's decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We were very pleased with the decision,” said Jorge Fernandes in statements to the Lusa agency, the day after he defended that same postponement, in the face of the current health crisis and the stopping of competitions.
After a lot of pressure from several national and international federations, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Games Organizing Committee announced today the postponement, leaving the event scheduled between July 24th and August 9th of this year without effect.
“In the present circumstances and based on information given today by the World Health Organization, the IOC president [Thomas Bach] and the Prime Minister of Japan [Shinzo Abe] concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympics in Tokyo should be rescheduled for one after 2020 and never after the summer of 2021 ”, reads the statement.
On Monday, World Athletics, chaired by Sebastian Coe, had defended that same postponement, and in Portugal several federations, in addition to the Olympic Committee of Portugal, asked for the same, including that of Judo.
“We defend the postponement to 2021. UEFA has also postponed [o Europeu] and the IOC should do the same, ”Jorge Fernandes then told Lusa, justifying with the absence of qualifying competitions and the sportsmen's own anxiety.
In the sport, whose international qualification circuit has stopped competitions, Portugal currently has eight judo athletes in a position eligible for the Olympic Games, and needs to qualify a third male element to compete as a team.
Individually in qualifying places are the judoka Catarina Costa (-48 kg), Joana Ramos (-52 kg), Telma Monteiro (-57 kg) Bárbara Timo (-70 kg), Patrícia Sampaio (-78 kg), Rochele Nunes ( +78 kg), Anri Egutidze (-81 kg) and Jorge Fonseca (-100 kg).
The new coronavirus, responsible for the covid-19 pandemic, has already infected more than 360,000 people worldwide, of whom about 17,000 have died.
After appearing in China in December, the outbreak spread worldwide, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a pandemic situation.
Several countries have adopted exceptional measures, including the quarantine regime and border closure.
In Portugal, there are 29 dead and 2,362 confirmed infections. Portugal is in a state of emergency from 00:00 on Thursday and until 23:59 on 02 April.