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Tokyo 2021 move will crowd sports calendar

Athletics event at Eugene, Oregon, host of the 2021 World Athletics Championship.

The postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics until 2021 will crowd the sports calendar and have a knock-on impact on a large number of other events next year.

Reuters reported that the 2021 World Athletics Championships, set for August 6-15 in the US state of Oregon, are “certain” to be postponed. Swimming’s 2021 World Aquatics Championships, scheduled for July 16-August 1 in Fukuoka, Japan, also look in doubt.

Two major football tournaments have already been moved to next summer – Uefa’s European Championship and Conmebol’s Copa America – both are to start on June 11 and run until July 11. These moves have led to the Fifa Club World Cup in China being indefinitely postponed and will lead to the women’s European Championship in England being moved. Reuters reported that 2021 Uefa Nations League and Concacaf’s Gold Cup also look likely to be moved.

Several other major sports events next year were to feature Olympic athletes and so may be moved, including the 2021 Aiba World Boxing Championships in New Delhi, the EuroHockey Nations Championship in the Netherlands in August, the European Basketball Championship – EuroBasket – in September, and the women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in December.

Other potentially affected events include the 2021 Summer World University Games in Chengdu, China, and China’s quadrennial National Games. The latter is a major milestone in China for developing national athletes.

Chinese sports business news site Sportsmoney.cn reported that the move of the Summer Olympics to 2021 bites into the promotion and sponsor activation period of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

The British and Irish Lions rugby team is scheduled to tour South Africa in July and August, and broadcasters and other commercial partners will be wary of a potential clash with the Olympics.