AOC chief executive Matt Carroll has commented on the decision to postpone Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

National Olympic Committees have continued to welcome the decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB), who both put pressure on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone Tokyo 2020, are among those to comment on the decision. 

Australia were so unwilling to send a team to Tokyo this summer that they told their athletes to prepare for a 2021 Olympics.

This was despite AOC President John Coates leading the IOC Coordination Commission in the Japanese capital. 

Concerns had risen due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has now infected more than 452,000 people worldwide and led to the deaths of more than 20,000. 

"The IOC has received fresh advice from the World Health Organisation," said AOC chief executive Matt Carroll.

"The pandemic is accelerating, and this decision recognises that.

"As President Bach has noted, 'Human lives take precedence over everything, including the staging of the Games.'

"The Games have never been postponed previously, but I have no doubt that when the world moves past these very difficult times, the Tokyo Olympic Games will provide an opportunity for the world to reconnect in a spirit of unity and hope. 

"Japan is up to the task and they will do a great job.

"In the meantime, we also will work through the implications of the postponement with all our member sports, their athletes and our partners so we can deliver an Australian Olympic Team to Tokyo next year who will make Australians proud."

COB President Paulo Wanderley expressed his delight at the decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games ©Getty Images
COB President Paulo Wanderley expressed his delight at the decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games ©Getty Images

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and IOC President Thomas Bach agreed yesterday to postpone the Games until no later than the summer of 2021.

COB President Paulo Wanderley expressed his delight at the decision, having previously urged the IOC to reschedule Tokyo 2020.

"We have always trusted in President Bach to manage the Olympics in this historical moment with serenity and security," Wanderley said.

"The athletes are at the centre of COB's thoughts, and therefore, the Brazilian community is very pleased with the decision.

"We are all together in this fight against a dangerous opponent. 

"By using resilience, braveness and team work, values that sport teaches us, we will be capable of beating the coronavirus together."

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), who had claimed it was "unacceptable" for organisations to pressure the IOC and Tokyo 2020 into making a rash decision, have also commented. 

"We respect the decision of the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee to reschedule the Games and fully support the IOC’s position that the health and safety of athletes, participants of the competitions and the international sports community shall be the priority," said ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov.

"It is clear that it was a very difficult decision taken in an unprecedented situation of the coronavirus pandemic and its global impact on humankind.

"We hope that ultimately the Tokyo Olympic Games will be staged in the atmosphere of a grand universal celebration and will serve to unite countries and nations, exactly what the world needs today, in my opinion."

ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov said they
ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov said they "respect" the Olympic postponement ©Getty Images

Pozdnyakov also urged the IOC and Tokyo 2020 to ensure the new dates for the Olympics fit in with the international sporting calendar. 

"We have a lot to do together but I would like to stress that a new date for the Olympic Games, which might be in spring 2021, is appropriate under the circumstances. 

"Firstly, it should enable the International Federations to keep the required format for all qualification events, and, secondly, should maintain the calendar of major events and competitions.

"The ROC will continue preparing for the Tokyo Olympic Games full steam and considering the dates change.  

"We will also continue to hold all the necessary consultations with the IOC and other international organisations to ensure constructive dialogue on relevant issues."

The Russian flag was due to be absent from Tokyo 2020 after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned the country from all international sport for four years in December.

Individually-cleared Russian athletes were set to be allowed to compete neutrally.

These measures are yet to be implemented, however, after the Russian Anti-Doping Agency filed an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, with the case still ongoing.