IOC being insensitive by planning for July Olympics, says discus thrower Jade Lally

By Katie FalkinghamBBC Sport
Jade Lally
Jade Lally is a seven-time British discus champion and competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics

British discus thrower Jade Lally says the IOC is being “insensitive” by insisting the Tokyo 2020 Games will go ahead as planned.

Despite the cancellation of key qualifying events amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Olympics remain set to take place from 24 July to 9 August.

Coronavirus has claimed more than 11,000 lives worldwide, with more than 260,000 confirmed cases.

“I don’t think it should go ahead as planned,” Lally told BBC Sport.

“I don’t think the 24 July should be the start. It’s too soon.

“I think the IOC are being very insensitive, and I don’t know if blasé is maybe the right word, but they’re not thinking about things.

“They can’t tell us to ‘train as normal’, because nobody can train as normal. Literally nobody on the planet is training as they normally would.

“Everyone is having to make adjustments, and everyone has got in the back of their mind ‘is the Olympics going to happen? Is it going to be delayed? Is it going to be cancelled?’.”

Lally welcomed her first child, Nyla, in July 2019 and is currently unfunded.

She returned to competition earlier this year, but has yet to throw the Olympic standard of 63.50m. However, she says she feels “in a good place”.

“Not just from a sporting point of view, but a lot of females will be basing their lives around the Olympic cycle,” Lally added.

“A lot of the women will have at the back of their minds ‘after Tokyo, I can start trying for a baby and then get ready for the next Olympics’.

“Many will be basing their careers on this, this is going to be their career-ending moment and they’re putting everything they can into going to Tokyo before moving onto the next stage of life.”

Lally, who is in the process of making a makeshift gym in her garage after all gyms in the UK were shut, has called for the Games to be postponed until 2021, or October 2020 at the earliest.

But she says it would be difficult fitting it around the sporting calendar.

“For the IOC to say just carry on as normal isn’t fair,” she said. “It creates more doubt for us as athletes.

“We know it can’t possibly happen on the 24 July, it just can’t.

“If they could tell us they’re looking into delaying it, then it would reassure us because we don’t have to rush for July.”

Top Stories