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COVID-19: New dates announced for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Tokyo 2020 OlympicsTokyo: The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year’s games.

Tokyo organizers said on Monday that the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021, almost exactly one year after the games were due to start this year.

Last week, the IOC and Japanese organizers postponed the Olympics until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s games were scheduled to open on July 24 and close on Aug. 9. But the near exact one-year delay will see the rescheduled closing ceremony on Aug. 8.

There had been talks of switching the Olympics to spring, a move that would coincide with the blooming of Japan’s famous cherry blossoms. But it would also clash with European soccer and North American sports leagues.

After holding out for weeks, local organizers and the IOC last week postponed the Tokyo Games under pressure from athletes, national Olympic bodies and sports federations. It’s the first postponement in Olympic history, though there were several cancellations during wartime.