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Coronavirus Kent: Tonbridge AC Olympic race-walker Tom Bosworth confident Tokyo 2020 Games will beat pandemic

Tom Bosworth is counting the financial cost of cancelled road races but remains optimistic this summer’s Olympics Games will go ahead.

Athletics has followed the rest of the sporting world by suspending action amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tonbridge AC's Tom Bosworth is confident the Olympics will take place in Japan as scheduled Picture: Stephen Pond/British Athletics
Tonbridge AC's Tom Bosworth is confident the Olympics will take place in Japan as scheduled Picture: Stephen Pond/British Athletics

Tonbridge AC race-walker Bosworth, 30, agrees with the moves but knows there are implications for athletes.

He said: “If you want to earn money in sport, you have to win races, you have to be competitive and you can’t win races without there being races on.

“The spring time is for me one of the most valuable times of the year, really, when it comes to income.

“I’m very fortunate to be on world-class performance but I try not to rely on government funding because that can disappear very quickly.

“It’s an unprecedented time because we don’t know how long this is going to last for.

“These road races in March, April, May, are where prize money is.

“Over the space of 48 hours we had four or five races cancelled, my next training camp cancelled and a number of opportunities I’ve had arranged for a while, they’ve also all cancelled.

“Everybody seems to be an expert on social media at the moment. I’m certainly not that.

“If it seems drastic now I hope that’s because we have to deal with the now and it means we can get back to normality as quickly as possible.

“So I support the actions and the decisions made. It’s certainly not easy, a lot of people are going to lose out on money and work and it’s affecting people all across the world.

“So if they are having to be drastic, let’s hope it works so people aren’t out of jobs and can survive and society can get back to normality.”

The Euro 2020 football championships, due to start in June, have already been postponed until next year.

But Bosworth believes it’s too soon to write off the Tokyo Olympics, which are set to begin on July 24.

Bosworth, who finished sixth in Rio four years ago, said: “Some people are questioning where there’s going to be an Olympic Games.

“I’d say there is going to be an Olympic Games.

“Whether that’s going to be behind closed doors or delayed a little bit, I think it is still going to happen.”

Bosworth made a flying start to the season, breaking British 5k and 10k records in times of 18min20sec and 39.10 respectively.

He won’t let uncertainly surrounding the athletics calendar stop him in his tracks with a training regime that sees him average about 20k a day.

Bosworth said: “Part of me thinks ‘what’s the point?’ but in Olympic year you tick off every day and you take the hurdles as they come and this is just a very big hurdle.

“My first two proper races of the year, I hit British records in both of them, so I was really excited to hit this road season in the spring and see if I can further my British records or go on and try to get world leads.

“That, unfortunately, has had to be postponed so, yes, it’s frustrating because I’m in such great shape and looking forward to racing.”

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