‘Heartbroken’ Australian athletes face up to Olympic reality

MELBOURNE: Australian athletes were feeling a mixture of regret and relief on Tuesday following their national Olympic committee’s decision to pull out of the 2020 Tokyo Games due to the coronavirus, while the country’s top soccer competition also fell victim to the outbreak.
The Australian Olympic Committee said on Monday that the coronavirus pandemic had made it untenable to assemble a team for the 2020 Games.
Twice Olympic champion swimmer Cate Campbell captured the mood of many of Australia’s Tokyo hopefuls when she spoke of the virus “shattering” dreams and visions of the future.
“Heartbroken but not surprised,” the former 100 meters freestyle world champion wrote on social media.
“Yesterday it was Olympic athletes’ turn to have their worlds turned upside down. “To be honest, I’m left reeling and feeling a little lost. But the goal posts haven’t disappeared – just shifted. It’s time to recalibrate and fire up for the next challenge.” Keesja Gofers, part of the women’s water polo team that had already qualified for Tokyo, said postponement would be “devastating” for all would-be Olympians around the world. – Agencies