Olympics postponement an opportunity not a threat: Salehi Amiri

April 7, 2020 - 15:45

TEHRAN - The President of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of the Islamic Republic of Iran Reza Salehi Amiri believes that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponement will not harm the country’s sportspersons and he sees it as an opportunity not a threat.

Due to the outbreak of the pandemic coronavirus, the press conference of Reza Salehi Amiri was held online with the media representatives on Monday.

“We call it an opportunity because the postponement of the Olympics gives us one more year to provide better conditions for our athletes,” the head of the Iranian NOC said.

“On the other hand, some of our athletes like Hassan Yazdani (wrestler), Hamideh Abbasali (karateka) and Sohrab Moradi (weightlifter) did not have good conditions due to injuries and the extra time will give them the opportunity to return to full fitness at a steadier pace.

“We don't look at the Olympics in terms of profits and losses. Health is more important than any other cancelled sporting events. The Olympics postponement was a global demand, and of course, we were among the first ones who called for the postponement,” he continued.

Speaking about the number of berths of Iran at the Olympics, Salehi Amiri said: “Our athletes have secured 51 berths so far and we predict at least 10 and a maximum of 20 more quota places. Things are going according to plan. Our target budget was $10m. Now that the budget has been increased, we are more prepared to support the related federations.”

The head of the Iranian National Olympic Committee also talked about the time of starting training for the athletes due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus.

“We will reschedule and adjust our programs according to an announcement from the Coronavirus Combat and Prevention Headquarters. Whenever the headquarters give permission, the federations start to plan for their athletes,” he added.

The Tokyo Olympics postponed until 2021 after talks between Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, and the International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach, led to the confirmation of a decision made inevitable by the coronavirus pandemic.

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