Despite the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local Olympians, the elite athletes remain focused ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games which have been rescheduled to commence this summer.
This is according to a media release from the BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC) which dispelled recent news reports that the Games, which are set for July 2021, was cancelled.
The athletes who have qualified for the Games so far are Eldred Henry for the Men’s Shot Put, 400-metre hurdler Kyron McMaster, and Long-jumper, Chantel Malone. Sprinter Ashley Kelly will be aiming to qualify for the Women’s 400-metre event.
Chef de Mission for the Games, Tahesia Harrigan-Scott who is in constant contact with the athletes said preparations have been going well for all four athletes ahead of the games.
“While their training schedules had to be adapted to meet with the COVID-19 restrictions and regulations, all four of the athletes are focused, working hard and are determined to be on their best form when the summer comes around,” she said.
“There’s no denying that the lack of competitions and a dead season can take its toll, but they each have a support network not just through their coaches and peers, but also through each other and a pro-active Executive at the BVIOC who ensure that their needs are being met so as to minimize any distraction from the task at hand,” she added.
The BVIOC also said other athletes are still aiming to make the games through the Universality programme which include sailor Thad Lettsome and swimmer Elinah Philip. Their spots will not be confirmed until closer to the Games.
Full commitment to see games through
Meanwhile, BVIOC’s President Ephraim Penn said his Committee was given full assurance that the Games will continue according to the rescheduled plans.
“The International Olympic Committee and organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games have been in continuous discussions on how to host the Games safely — both for the competing athletes and delegations as well as for the host country,” Penn stated.
He added: “There is full commitment to seeing the Games through which is a message that must be made clear to all athletes who are currently training and preparing to compete.”
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