Adam Peaty ready to 'train even harder' after Olympic postponementMarch 25, 2020
Adam Peaty insists he is ready to ‘train even harder’ after the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games were postponed for up to a year.
The International Olympic Committee revealed that the Games will take place ‘no later than summer 2021’ due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Peaty, who was set to defend his 100m Breaststroke title, says he will use the extra time to improve his chances of success in Tokyo.
He told BBC Sport: “With the IOC decision, I think a lot of athletes can breathe.
“We felt under pressure to train, we felt under pressure to compete because obviously the Olympics is a few months away and we need to train, not de-train.
“So having that kind of decision from the IOC has lifted that kind of release that we don’t need to be in shape in the summer and we don’t need to put unnecessary risks on other people and we can save those resources for the NHS and for people who really need them as well.
A million things have changed in 4 years but one thing stayed the same, the daily pursuit of olympic glory. Our time isn’t now, it’s time to look after our vulnerable and protect them as much as we can. Excited to have the opportunity to train for #Tokyo2021 🚀 @massivemelpic.twitter.com/K1xv7RQEv8
— Adam Peaty MBE (@adam_peaty) March 24, 2020
“I was targeting this summer to defend my Olympic title and push the world record a little bit, see what we could get.
“But that’s going to be delayed now. I don’t mind a year delay at all. As long as it happens, I’ve got enough patience to wait it out and train even harder.
“It just gives me more opportunity to improve, more opportunity to self-reflect and see what needed doing.
“It gives the rest of the world that opportunity to improve as well, so hopefully I will come out on top and a little bit faster, put on an even better show.”
Putting health first
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The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics will be held in 2021 🇯🇵 Honestly. That's a massive sigh of relief. Health comes first. Let's also remember the hours of sacrifice that athletes make. Not just this year. But for the past 4 years. The extra year gives us all time to process these very real events. It gives us essential time to look after ourselves and our families. It gives us time for a full year of training into the pinnacle of our careers. We can put health at the centre of our decisions this year, instead of performance. It means we hold on to the Olympic dream. Thank you @paralympics @olympics @tokyo2020 ❤️ #tokyo2020 #olympics #paralympics #olympicdream #staysafe #stayhome
Paralympic champion Ellie Robinson agreed that the postponement has provided a ‘massive sigh of relief’.
Robinson, who won gold in the 50m Butterfly S6 at Rio 2016, took a philosophical approach to the news, insisting it allows for ‘essential time to look after ourselves and our families’, as well as ‘a full year of training into the pinnacle of our careers’.
Suzanna Hext will have to wait a little longer to make her swimming debut at the Paralympics.
But the para-dressage athlete insists the IOC made ‘100% the right decision’.
She added: “The ultimate goal stays the same, [with] another year to prepare for it.”
‘The milestone has changed’
— Aimee Willmott (@aimee_willmott) March 24, 2020
Aimee Willmott admitted her disappointment, saying she is ‘not sure how I feel about it right now’.
The Olympic finalist and Commonwealth champion had been hoping to qualify for her third Games and says it is ‘hard to come to terms with the fact that this season is pretty much over’.
Meanwhile, Olympic silver medallist Siobhan-Marie O’Connor reflected on her experience at Rio 2016 to share a positive message with her Instagram followers.
O’Connor said: “We will come together again, but until then, stay safe everyone.
“Sending love to everyone who has been affected by the virus, and to all the heroes who are doing their best to protect us and keep us safe.
“We will get through this together.”