Athletes across Australia are training instead of competing today with July 24 marking what would have been the first day of the 2020 Olympics.
- The 2020 Olympic Games were supposed to start in Tokyo today
- Olympic trap shooter James Willett is continue training on his southern NSW farm
- Queensland triathlete Kerry Morris is still hoping to make the Irish team
The event, set to be held in Tokyo, was postponed by a full year due to the pandemic.
But the Australian Olympic Committee has said all athletes that were locked in for the 2020 games will not have to re-qualify for 2021.
The world’s best trap shooter and Olympian James Willet said while the postponement was unfortunate, a full cancellation would have been more disappointing.
“It gives us another year to try and prepare and work towards being the best that we can in 12 months time,” he said.
The world number one lives at Mulwala on the NSW-Victoria border, where life has been drastically impacted by tight restrictions to prevent the coronavirus outbreak in Melbourne from moving north.
But Willett said he was lucky to able to train on his property.
“We’re just trying to train at home and stay locally while all of this is going on.
“Hopefully things start to improve and we can get back to competing domestically, and then see what happens internationally from next year onwards.”
Queensland triathlete Kerry Morris had not yet qualified for an Olympic team when the pandemic hit, but was hopeful of making the Irish team.
“When I had my [back injury] accident I realised that qualifying for Australia would be taken off the table because there’s a very high level of athlete in Australia,” she said.
“It was a bit easier for me to get a start and get points for the Olympics if I was wearing my Irish colours.”
Morris recently competed in China alongside reigning and former world champions in her attempt to qualify for Tokyo 2020.
Sights set on 2021 and beyond
Morris said it will be tough to keep her training up to make the next Olympics, whether it was next year or four years time.
But she will be doing everything she can to qualify.
If the 2021 Olympics are ultimately cancelled, Willett said he would also be aiming to be there in four years.
“I’ll aim to be in Paris in 2024 and do everything I can to prepare for that,” he said.
“The four years cycle isn’t going to look the same as it has done previously. There’s going to be a lot of challenges.”