Tokyo Olympics: Postponing Games provides security - Downey

Felix English and Mark Downey
Felix English and Mark Downey helped Ireland qualify for the Olympics

Irish track cyclist Mark Downey believes postponing the Tokyo Olympics over coronavirus fears was "the right decision".

Downey helped Ireland secure qualification for the men's Madison and Omnium at the beginning of March.

"Postponing the Games gives everyone that little bit of security," said Downey.

"It's disappointing after seeing it in black and white, but we can refocus and move forward."

Downey feels that even if the virus had passed by the time the Games were scheduled to commence at the end of July, the current lockdown situation for many athletes makes training impossible.

"Obviously a lot of athletes are in lockdown so daily life, never mind training, was a bit of a struggle," added the county Down cyclist.

"At the minute I'm just taking it easy and trying to mix things up, maybe a it of light jogging or walking too.

"I'm still getting out the odd time for a spin but we are in weird times."

As with many Olympics sports, cycling revolves around the Games and Downey says pushing back the event "has thrown a spanner in the works".

"Planning is a four-year cycle for a lot of people, but as athletes we are made to try and deal with these situations," he added.

"After a few weeks we will have to hit a reset button and begin to prepare for that fifth year.

"We have the security of already qualifying, but other nations can't quite yet see the end goal because we don't know when qualification will open up again.

"It's hard in these times, but you just have to try and stay motivated, keep ticking over and hope everything will fall into place."

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