Alistair Brownlee says Tokyo Olympic postponement was morally the ONLY option

Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee says postponement was morally the only option available to Tokyo 2020 chiefs.

Brownlee was aiming to complete a golden hat-trick by adding to his triathlon titles won in London and Rio.

That will now have to wait a year but he insisted: “This is very much the right decision.

“It really would have been the wrong message to have an Olympic Games when the world is fighting to save people lives.

“When so many people are losing their lives, or are very close to losing their lives, it’s the principle isn’t it. We have to make a priority of saving lives.”

Brownlee gave his blessing as Olympic president Thomas Bach revealed the size of challenge facing organisers to put the show back on the road in 2021.

"This is like a huge jigsaw puzzle and every piece has to fit,” he said. “You take out one piece, the whole puzzle is destroyed.

"A Games has never been postponed before. We have no blueprint. Everything has to come together and everything is important.

“We are nevertheless confident we can put a beautiful jigsaw puzzle together and will then in the end have a wonderful Olympic Games."

Dame Katherine Grainger, chair of UK Sport, admitted the continued funding of British sport through to the rescheduled date had entered "uncharted territory”.

The current funding cycle runs until March 2021 which is likely to leave governing bodies four months short of money.

Rowing legend Grainger said: “We’re in uncharted territory as to how we go from that March break point through to the summer where it looks like the Games are going to be. That’s the kind of conversation we’ll be having with the government.

“We’ve had incredible support from the government over many, many years for high performance sport so I would very much hope that they understand the challenges that we’re all facing right now and they would want to see the Olympic and Paralympic teams supported right through to the summer of 2021.”

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