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Postponing Tokyo Olympics ‘only option’ says Toolis

PUBLISHED: 14:30 27 March 2020

Joseph Choong, Jamie Cooke, and Thomas Toolis of Great Britain after winning the team gold medal at the 2019 European Modern Pentathlon Championships at the University of Bath.

Joseph Choong, Jamie Cooke, and Thomas Toolis of Great Britain after winning the team gold medal at the 2019 European Modern Pentathlon Championships at the University of Bath.

PA Wire/PA Images

Hornchurch hopeful Tom Toolis admitted postponing the Tokyo Games later this year due to the coronavirus pandemic was the only sensible option.

Tom Toolis has set up a temporary gym at homeTom Toolis has set up a temporary gym at home

Former Coopers pupil Toolis, 27, has been part of Great Britain’s Modern Pentathlon set-up for the past decade, having impressed in the British Schools’ Modern Biathlon Championships.

He has competed in World and European Junior and Senior Championships, the World Cup series and final, and won team gold alongside Joseph Choong and Jamie Cooke at last year’s Euros at the University of Bath, where he got a degree in Sport & Exercise.

And despite seeing his Olympic dream delayed for the time being, he said: “This is an unprecedented situation for an Olympics to be postponed, but I do think the situation calls for it.

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“Health services around the world are being pushed to their limit and it would be irresponsible to gather people from all countries to one location and make the transmission of the virus easier.

“Obviously this is unknown territory and I’m unsure of what will come next in terms of funding and training but all anyone can do is to focus on the controllable outcomes.

“For me, I’m training as much as possible whilst in lockdown with my family. I’ve set up a makeshift gym with all sorts of equipment to maintain as much fitness as possible until everything calms down and I can return to the training centre.”

Emily Defroand, another former Coopers pupil hoping to represent the GB women’s hockey team in Tokyo, echoed the sentiments of Toolis.

Defroand, 25, took to Twitter to post: “In these unprecedented times, it was the decision we as athletes were fearing, yet anticipating.

“Absolutely the right decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Sport is just a benefit of life; life, health and safety remains far more important. #StayAtHomeSaveLives.”


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