Tokyo: The Tokyo Olympics 2020 which were postponed due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will now be held in July-August 2021 and new dates have been announced, Japanese media reported on Monday (March 30).

According to the local media, Tokyo Olympics 2020 will be held next year, from July 23 to August 8, 2021. Paralympics will be held from August 24 to September 5.

Also read: IOC, Japan agree to postponed Tokyo Olympics

Japan’s Kyodo News agency said, “The Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed due to the global coronavirus pandemic, will be held from July 23 to Aug. 8 in 2021, an official with knowledge of the matter said Monday.”

Later, IOC confirmed the new dates. IOC tweeted, "IOC, IPC, Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and Tokyo Metropolitan Government announce new dates for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020."

Also read: Leander Paes could delay retirement due to postponement of Tokyo Olympics

In a statement, IOC said, "The leaderships of the key parties came together via telephone conference earlier today, joined by IOC President Thomas Bach, Tokyo 2020 President Mori Yoshirō, Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko and Olympic and Paralympic Minister Hashimoto Seiko, and agreed on the new schedule."

It added, "These new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organisation of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new dates, exactly one year after those originally planned for 2020 (Olympic Games: 24 July to 9 August 2020 and Paralympic Games: 25 August to 6 September 2020), also have the added benefit that any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum, in the interests of the athletes and the IFs. Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process. The same heat mitigation measures as planned for 2020 will be implemented."

IOC president Thomas Bach said, "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."

On March 24, Bach and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a conference call and decided to postpone the summer Olympics. Tokyo Olympics were to be held from July 24 to August 9.

In a joint statement IOC and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee had said, “In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.

“The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.”