The captain of GB team to European Indoor Athletics Championship last year, Guy Learmouth want the OIC to move fast by postponing this year Olympics before things get out of hand. With other two athletes Marthn Rooney and Dai Green asking for flexibility.
“I have no idea how bad this is going to get, and what we have seen so far might be the tip of the iceberg,” Learmonth said. “Of course the IOC and the whole world wants a successful Olympics. But for that to happen I strongly believe the event needs to be postponed – unless the authorities can guarantee it will be business as usual, which I don’t believe they can.”
“We have to be realistic,” said Learmonth, who reached the world championships semi-finals in 2017 and believes that, at 27, he is in the best shape of his life. “If the British government are saying the peak is going to hit us around May or June there might not even be any Olympic trials. The Australians have already had theirs cancelled and I fear that this is going to be happening a lot throughout Europe as the weeks and months go by”.
“I’d be happy if they postpone until at least October – or maybe later to 2021 or 2022. At least that would give the athletes time to now plan, train, and more importantly, time for this virus to settle down”, he added in an interview with the Guardian.
Martyn Rooney, who won Olympics bronze in 4×400 2008 want IOC and World Athletics to show more flexibility. “I think most athletes are pragmatic and aware that the health and well‑being of not only the athletes but the teams around them are most important,” he said. “If a mass participation event is a high risk then the Olympics is not going to happen and as athletes there’s nothing we can do about it. The worry is it goes ahead and athletes haven’t got the chance to qualify. I’d be pissed off if I knew I’m in great shape and I didn’t get the chance to race in good meets and get the necessary time and points to qualify.”
The 2011 World 400m hurdle Champion Dai Green also reiterated the disquietness among the athletes. “Currently there are a lot of unknowns for athletes,” said Greene, who has had to cancel his training camp in Florida and will not be able to compete during the US season. “If we cannot compete internationally or domestically during the next few months then a lot of athletes will not be able to qualify for Tokyo. That’s regardless of whether the Games will go ahead at all.”
Greene also warned that many athletes were worried about the financial implications of not being able to compete. “Large portions of the athletics community are not funded or are not funded enough to make a living. We don’t have clubs who give us wages, we have nothing to fall back on, it’s a worrying ” he added.