TOKYO, Japan - The International Olympic Committee has confirmed that the Tokyo Olympic Games will run from July 23, 2021 until August 8 after being postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The board of the IOC met on Monday to confirm the decision, which was taken in order to protect the welfare of athletes and everyone involved, and to support the containment of the COVID-19 virus.

Despite the Games being pushed back a year, they will continue to be known as Tokyo 2020.

In a statement published on its official website, the IOC said: “These new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organization of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The new dates, exactly one year after those originally planned for 2020 (Olympic Games: 24 July to 9 August 2020 and Paralympic Games: 25 August to 6 September 2020), also have the added benefit that any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum, in the interests of the athletes and the IFs.

“Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process.”

IOC president Thomas Bach said: “I am confident that, working together with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese Government and all our stakeholders, we can master this unprecedented challenge.

“Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel. These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel.”

This will be the first time the Games have been delayed, although in 1916, 1940 and 1944 they were cancelled due to World War 1 and World War 2.

The WTA, ATP and ITF Tours all remain suspended until June 7.