South African Under-23 coach David Notoane has accepted the extraordinary step to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, saying "there’s more to life than sport"
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) took the decision to postpone the Tokyo Games which were scheduled to start on 24 July because of the coronavirus outbreak.
“We welcome the decision of the LOC,” said Notoane.
“It is a decision that benefits everyone. However, naturally, I am disappointed as we were really gearing up later in the year to intensify our preparation, and now they have been destabilised by the coronavirus.”
South Africa was one of three African countries to represent the continent at the Olympics along with Egypt and the Ivory Coast.
This was going to be South Africa’s first back-to-back Olympic appearance as they were part of this world event in 2016 in Brazil.
Notoane remains hopeful that they will revise the decision and games be played after this pandemic.
He said: “We remain hopeful that after this pandemic has passed, there could possibly be a review that we play next year.
“But we will review, revise our program. We are happy now because we know where we stand.”
“This decision we support it, there’s more to life than sport. Coronavirus is here cutting the world into pieces.
“Would like to urge all spot loving people in South Africa and globally to rally behind their government support all the measures that are in place to make sure we deal with this coronavirus pandemic.”
This marks only the fourth time since the first modern Olympics were held in 1896 that the Games have been drastically affected by outside forces.
The other three occasions were cancellations during the first and second World Wars.
So, this is the first time the Olympics have been postponed, rather than cancelled.