Stedman sees logic in Tokyo postponement

NEW GOAL: Paralympian William Stedman believes the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and...
NEW GOAL: Paralympian William Stedman believes the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics was a logical step. Photo: Canterbury Athletics.

Christchurch’s Paralympic sprinter and long jumper William Stedman has welcomed the International Olympic Committee’s decision to postpone the Tokyo event until next year.

The 20-year-old from Hillmorton won two bronze medals four years ago at Rio de Janeiro as New Zealand’s youngest paralympic athlete.

He said with the decision now made, he can make adjustments and refocus.

“It makes complete sense," he said.

“It’s not ideal to have the prospect of thousands of people gathered at this point plus you have athletes in lockdown and unable to train like they normally would so it’s not a level playing field.

“I’d seen (the decision) coming for the past couple of weeks.

“We just have to adapt and make it work.”

Stedman was able to grab some equipment from the High Performance Sport New Zealand gym and is making the best of the lockdown with an exercise set-up In his garage.

“I’ve managed to get essential gear and set up a temporary gym.

“I’m lucky that I’m a sprinter who lives in the hills, so I can do sprints up my drive or longer runs outside.

“I really feel for those athletes like swimmers who do not have as many options as I do.

“I have to get creative but it’s definitely manageable.

Stedman said he would put together a new 12-month schedule with his coach, George Edwards.

“I’m not sure what the plan will look like going forward but we will make do."


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