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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says the Tokyo Olympics will now take place between July 23 and August 8 2021.

The IOC confirmed the news on Monday, which followed a meeting of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee.

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The Tokyo organisers confirmed that the opening ceremony will take place on July 23 2021 – almost exactly one year after the games were due to start this year.

A decision to postpone the Olympic and Paralympic Games was taken last week by the IOC and the Japanese government due to threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

A statement from the IOC also confirmed the new dates for the Paralympic Games, which will now take place from August 24 to September 5.

IOC president Thomas Bach said: “I want to thank the International Federations for their unanimous support and the Continental Associations of National Olympic Committees for the great partnership and their support in the consultation process over the last few days.

“I would also like to thank the IOC Athletes’ Commission, with whom we have been in constant contact.

“With this announcement, I am confident that, working together with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese Government and all our stakeholders, we can master this unprecedented challenge. Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel.

“These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel.”

The announcement came after World Athletics boss, Sebastian Coe, told of his relief at the Olympics being postponed – as it will ensure athletes stay on the right side of the law.

Coe pushed for a delay of the games before the decision was finally taken by Olympic chiefs last week.

The architect of London 2012 admitted that saving competitors from “mental turmoil” had been a key consideration.

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“We didn’t want to have the athletes in a position where they were countering government advice, maybe even breaking the law,” said the Lord of the Rings.

“And of course in the back of their minds was always that concern, it wasn’t just their own training programme, but that they ran the risk of effectively infecting themselves, their families, their kids, grandparents or parents.

“We just wanted to take them out of that mental turmoil as quickly as we possibly could.

“We’re no different from everyone else out there,” Coe told TalkSPORT. “But I think we just concluded that sport, on this occasion, had to take a back seat.”

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