Jamaica’s Omar McLeod says he is devastated by the news that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have been postponed despite the fact that the decision was taken in the best interest of all concerned.

The International Olympic Committee confirmed the move on Tuesday following discussions between its President Thomas Bach, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Games' organisers.

It means that for the first time since the Second World War, the Olympic Games will not go ahead on schedule.

The spread of COVID-19 has halted sport across the globe and it had become apparent that a start date of July 24 for the Olympic Games was too close for comfort.

McLeod, the Rio 2016 110m hurdles champion, says he feels for the athletes who have been preparing for the quadrennial competition.

“I am devastated and truly feel for all us athletes who have been working tirelessly to accomplish the goals we’ve set for this year,” said McLeod who is based in Jacksonville, Florida, with the Tumbleweed track group. “One of those common goals is obviously the Olympic Games.”

Notwithstanding the disappointment, the 2017 World Champion said he is on board with the decision by the IOC to postpone the Games.

“I do understand, though, that our health comes first and we cannot be naive into thinking that this coronavirus pandemic isn’t something serious,” McLeod said.

“So, personally, I do believe that postponing the Games to 2021 is the best solution for all athletes. We just have to stay motivated and keep aspiring. God bless and wash your hands!”

McLeod was the first Jamaican man to win a sprint hurdles gold medal at an Olympic Games.

Omar McLeod, the 2016 World Indoor 60m hurdles champion, will not compete at this weekend’s Millrose Games at the Armoury in New York.

Promising young Jamaica sprinter Christania Williams has left the local MVP Track Club to join Florida-based Tumbleweed Track Club in the United States.

The 25-year-old Williams, a former high school standout star at Jamaican high school Edwin Allen, is considered by many as one of a new generation of talented athletes expected to continue the country’s success.

Williams was part of Jamaica’s silver medal-winning team in the 4x100m relays at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games and claimed bronze, in the same event, at the London World Championships a year later.  The sprinter, who holds personal best times of 10.96 in the 100m and 23.48 over the 200m, was a double silver medallist at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in 2018.

The sprinter will join the likes of compatriots Omar McLeod, the 110m Olympic champion and World Youth Champion Christopher Taylor.  Williams is the second top-ranked athlete to leave the MVP Track Club this season with hurdler Megan Tapper having left at the start.

 

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