ANKARA (AA) – Though he will miss entering the wrestling ring in front of millions this year, a Turkish Olympic silver medalist said Wednesday he supports postponing this summer’s Tokyo games.
"People are facing this coronavirus pandemic, which is affecting the whole world," Riza Kayaalp told Anadolu Agency.
“The International Olympic Committee postponed the Olympic Games due to the virus, in light of the public health [risk]. Ultimately human life is more important than everything.”
Kayaalp added that the extra time before the games, now due to be held in 2021, may help him tackle some back troubles.
"I believe that I will defeat this with a huge effort and come out stronger next year. I will pick up my work with better motivation," he added.
Kayaalp, 30, the holder of four world titles, said his only goal is doing his best to clinch a gold medal in the next Olympics.
He won his ticket to Tokyo through capturing the crown at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
- Storied career
At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Kayaalp won a bronze medal in Greco-Roman style in 120 kilograms.
Four years later at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, he won the silver medal in men's Greco-Roman, 130 kg.
* Writing by Emre Asikci