Swimming South Africa President Allan Fritz has welcomed the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan to next year.

The decision came after resistance from countries and athletes to holding the games amid the coronavirus pandemic. Last week Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President of IOC Thomas Bach insisted that the games will take place.

Canada became the first country to withdraw from the games, while Australia had already told its athletes they must not train under the widespread restrictions in place to control the virus. No exact date has been set but Fritz is hoping the Games will take place in July next year.

Many swimmers will be disappointed that the games have been postponed. Many of them were looking to qualify for the Olympics at the National Championships in Durban next month, and also in the Senior African Championships also in Durban next month.

In the audio below, Fritz says the athletes’ well-being is important.

Meanwhile, former Olympic gold medallist Cameron van der Burgh admitted this week that he tested positive for COVID-19. He is currently recovering in London where he is based. Fritz wished him well. – Report by Vincent Sitsula