The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) says it will continue normal preparations for the Olympic Games scheduled for later this year in Tokyo, Japan.
AOC said the health and safety of athletes and officials is still the major priority of the committee but it will continue planning for the Games despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement, AOC said the global disruption of COVID-19 has significantly hampered the qualification processes for sports as well as the preparation of athletes. But Committee Chief Executive Matt Carroll said everything is being done to assist Australian athletes.
“We recognise there is a global health crisis. We recognise people are suffering – people are sick, people are losing jobs, businesses are struggling amid enormous community uncertainty. Things are changing every day and we all must adapt,” he said.
“Equally, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), advised by the World Health Organisation, has assured us the Olympic Games in Tokyo are proceeding in four months’ time. We owe it to our Australian athletes to do everything we can to ensure they will participate with the best opportunity in those Games.”
IOC said it is fully committed to the Games and “any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive”. IOC has consulted with key stakeholders of the Olympics Games and is also meeting daily with the World Health Organisation.
Details change for Shooting Australia Open
Shooting Australia has announced the Shooting Australia Open has been cancelled. The Open will be replaced by events exclusive to athletes who have previously registered Tokyo Olympic Games Minimum Qualification Scores (MQS) in pistol, rifle and shotgun disciplines and who are eligible for Australian Olympic Shooting Team selection.
The replacement events will be the fourth and final Tokyo Olympic Games nomination events. Rifle events will be held at Wingfield Rifle Range in Adelaide this Friday and Saturday, while pistol and shotgun events will be held at the Sydney International Shooting Centre on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Event times are to be advised.
In other news, the Benchrest Centrefire National Championship event scheduled to take place in Canberra next month has been cancelled as well as all overseas team travel.