Johannes reacts to possible cancellation

By Michael Uugwanga

LEADING female distance runner Helalia Johannes has reacted on a possible decision that the postponed Summer Olympic Games rescheduled for next year could be cancelled amid pandemic concern.

In an interview with Confidente Sport, the soft-spoken Johannes who is in the best form of her life following a successful two-year run after winning gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia and bronze at last year’s International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Doha, said whatever decision will be taken she will accept it.

Johannes said the health of the athletes should be considered first ahead of the hosting of the event.

“You see, this all depends on the situation. I will just accept the decision taken because they know what is best for the athletes. It is also about our own safety.  Safety comes first. I will have no problem about whatever decision is taken,” said Johannes.

The latest development regarding the possibility of the Olympic Games being called off comes after the president of the World Athletics Lord Core in an interview with BBC on August 21 said that athletics must be creative if the Olympic Games do not go ahead, adding that there are no certainties the games will happen on the new date.

“I really hope we are in a position to deliver the Tokyo Games. We also may have to think slightly out of the box about how we might have to create other types of events if – I hope not – but if we have a very badly disrupted season generally,” said Core.

The Olympic Games initially scheduled for July 24 to August 9 2020 in Tokyo, are now expected to take place next year from July 23 to August 8.

Johannes (40) said she continues to remain positive ahead of next year’s Games and did not want to dwell  on her own future in case the  Olympic Games are cancelled.

“I do not really make use of the gym as we all know about the protocols at the gym. I only go to the gym like twice a week. I do keep myself fit as it is part of my job while waiting for the situation to normalise,” said Johannes.

Meanwhile, vice-president of ICC John Coates on September 7 in an interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP)  said that the postponed Olympic Games will go ahead next year “ with or without” Covid-19.

“The Games were going to be their theme, the Reconstruction Games after the devastation of the tsunami,” Coates told AFP, referring to 2011 catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

“Now very much these will be the Games that conquered Covid, the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Coates.