Ireland's Olympic sailing and rowing teams got the date for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games that are now set to start on the 23 July 2021 and run until the 8 August 2021.
This announcement was made following an IOC Executive Board meeting today.
The focus for Team Ireland – which in the sailing discipline currently includes one female Laser Radial and the prospect of two other boats in last chance qualifications is to get more boats qualified and be in a position to equal or better Rio's stunning silver medal performance by Annalise Murphy.
The Ireland rowing team is the strongest ever for the Games. Four boats have already qualified: the women's single and lightweight men's double emerged from the 2019 World Championships as gold medallists; the men's double took silver; the women's pair finished eighth overall. In addition, the women's four and the lightweight women's double will hope to join these through qualifiers.
The Opening Ceremony of the XXXII Olympic Games had been scheduled for the 24 July this year and was forced to be postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The delay of one year was agreed by the board following discussions with the Tokyo 2020 organising committee and the International Federations.
The confirmation of a date provides clarity for the Olympic Federation of Ireland who can begin work on addressing the operational adjustments that need to take place following this reschedule.
Speaking today, Chef de Mission for Team Ireland in Tokyo, Tricia Heberle welcomed the clarification of a date,
“Now the athletes have a start date for the Games, they can work with their Performance Directors and coaches to start mapping out preparations. Importantly for athletes and sport, the next information we need clarity on are any changes to qualification and the rescheduling of qualification events. This will take some time, so in the short term the focus remains the same, stay healthy and safe over the coming months.
“The priority now is for everyone to following the government guidelines to protect Ireland and the rest of the world against further spread of this virus. A July 2021 start means that we have plenty of time to reactivate preparatory plans and for athletes currently in modified training or on a break of sorts, this period of time can still allow some positive impact on performance.
“If we are smart, this enforced break can make Team Ireland even better.”