Iran NOC chief Salehi Amiri says Olympics postponement an opportunity, not a threat

© Mehr News Agency
© Mehr News Agency

Tehran, Iran, April 9, 2020: The President of the National Olympic Committee of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Reza Salehi Amiri, believes that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponement will not harm the country’s athletes and sees it as an opportunity not a threat.

In an online press conference on Monday, Salehi Amiri said: “We call it an opportunity because the postponement of the Olympics gives us one more year to provide better conditions for our athletes.

“On the other hand, some of our athletes like Hassan Yazdani (wrestler), Hamideh Abbasali (karateka) and Sohrab Moradi (weightlifter) did not have good conditions due to injuries and the extra time will give them an opportunity to return to full fitness at a steadier pace.”

The postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to July 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic will also increase the chances of more Iranian athletes qualifying, according to Salehi Amiri.

“Our athletes have secured 51 berths so far and we predict at least 10 and a maximum of 20 more quota places. Things are going according to plan. Our target budget was US$10 million. Now that budget has been increased we are more prepared to support the related federations,” the head of the Iranian NOC said.

“We don’t look at the Olympics in terms of profit and loss. Health is more important than any other cancelled sporting events. The Olympics postponement was a global demand and, of course, we were among the first ones who called for the postponement,” Salehi Amiri added.

Source: Tehran Times