Spanish Olympic Committee welcomes the possible postponement of Tokyo 2020

SHOWS: MADRID, SPAIN (MARCH 23, 2020) (SPANISH OLYMPIC COMMITTEE HANDOUT - ACCESS ALL)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SPAIN'S OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (COE) PRESIDENT ALEJANDRO BLANCO, SAYING:

"We have just got to know the statement issued by the International Olympic Committee in which the possibility of changing the date for Tokyo 2020 is mentioned. This statement, opens for the first time the door for new scenarios, it opens for the first time the possibility of changing the date and without a doubt it is good news for the whole Olympic movement. We are yet to know the exact date, we are yet to know the final decision by the International Olympic Committee, there is still uncertanty and from the respect to the International Olympic Committee but also out of respect to the rules imposed by the Spanish government in order to guarantee the health of Spaniards, we hope that soon a final decision is taken so our athletes can focus on the Games and think only in getting ready to approach the competition in the best shape possible. I can only hope for the quickest possible final decision by the International Olympic Committee so once the coronavirus is overcome, we can all focus on what our athletes do best and that is to compete and win."

STORY: The Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) joined a growing band of sports organisations hoping for a postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

COE president Alejandro Blanco said on Monday (March 23) that the announcement made by the IOC earlier on Sunday (March 22) that they were to start discussions regarding a possible postponement was "good news for the whole Olympic movement".

Blanco went on to say that he is hoping for the "quickest possible final decision" by the IOC, so that once the coronavirus has been overcome, "we can all focus on what our athletes do best and that is to compete and win."

Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori had said earlier on Monday that "postponement isn't our first course of action, but we can't not consider it".

(Production: Silvio Castellanos, Mike Brock)