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Sat 25 Apr 2020 12:15 PM

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Expo 2020 Dubai to 'lead the charge' in post-coronavirus world, says IAAF President

Sebastian Coe, the head of London's successful 2012 Olympic bid, says that Expo 2020 Dubai may be improved as a result of its postponement

Expo 2020 Dubai to 'lead the charge' in post-coronavirus world, says IAAF President

Expo 2020 Dubai and the Tokyo Olympics will likely “lead the charge” in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in 2021, according to Sebastian Coe, the head of London’s successful 2012 Olympic bid and current president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics have been rescheduled to begin in July 2021, while Expo 2020 Dubai will begin in October of that year.

In an interview with DubaiEye, Coe – a former runner and four-time Olympic medallist – said that the postponement of both events will give organisers more time to make necessary changes and ensure the events run smoothly and perhaps even “better than they would be in 2020.”

“I’m sure the organising committee in Tokyo and the executive teams at Expo 2020 are pulling together and will see if they can make adjustments to make the event a success,” he said.

“There is no reason to believe the postponement of an event is going to leave the public with any less of an appetite for that event,” he added.

Additionally, Coe said that the events are likely to “lead the charge in a post-pandemic world.”

“Sport and big global events that bring people together are actually a timely reminder of humanity at its best,” he said. “I’m optimistic.”

Coe added that he believes sporting events are likely to return to the region and other parts of the world later in 2020.

“We do have to remember that it can only be done at the pace that is advisable to us. We take our advice from governments, municipalities and public health authorities,” he said. “I do expect [events] to make an appearance in the latter parts of this year.”

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