After the confirmed postponement of the Olympic Games until 2021, Monegasque athletes preparing for Tokyo have revealed their thoughts to Monaco Tribune. A retrospective with Hugo Micallef, Lucas Catarina, Xiao Xin Yang, Quentin Antognelli and Kévin Crovetto.

 

Hugo Micallef (Boxing)

“I hoped that the Olympics would go ahead on the initial date but I was aware the issues and problems linked with the coronavirus pandemic. Deep down, I expected they would be postponed,” explains the Monegasque boxer, confined with his coach and fitness trainer in Monaco. “This decision knocked me off course but I wasn’t surprised. I’m going to discuss with my agent to see what we’re going to do. If I go professional as soon as the school year starts, as originally planned, or if I remain an amateur until the Olympics. But it any case, the goal is to go to Tokyo next year.”

 

Lucas Catarina (Tennis)

“It was to be expected. It was only a question of time. The current situation means more than sport,” says Lucas Catarina, between two muscle training sessions in his carpark. “For me, it’s not a complete a disappointment. It allows me an extra year to improve, progress and get a position in the ATP rankings. The Olympics should stay as a big celebration. At least next year all athletes will be on a level playing field. For fairness, it’s best.”

 

Xiao Xin Yang (Table tennis)

“I think that it’s good news for everyone,” admitted the Monegasque player. “The current situation isn’t easy for athletes and participants alike to deal with. From a health point of view, the postponement is the best solution. Besides that, I was definitely a little disappointed when I heard the news. We’re a bit uncertain about the qualifications. But sport is taking a back seat.”

 

Quentin Antognelli (Rowing)

When you train for nearly four years, this decision is bound to be a blow to your morale,” laments Quentin Antognelli, who is confined near Oxford, England, along with four other rowers. “I had planned to finish my studies next year in a more relaxed way, but I’m going to have to look back on a very busy year like the one just ended. We’re also disappointed because we’re going to miss the whole season and in particular the biggest English regatta. We’re going to have to wait to get back on the water until at least September and the French Championships.”

Kévin Crovetto (Gymnastics)

“I completely understand this decision. Health comes first. We are in an unprecedented global crisis. The postponement of the Olympics is entirely justified,” says Kévin Crovetto, who intends to take advantage of the confinement to treat his last sores as he recovers from a ruptured bicep tendon. “You have to be able to distinguish between the two. Sport and the Olympic Games are important, but given the scale of the pandemic, the IOC made the right decision. We cannot complain about the medical staff who are going through a very tough period.”