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Summer Games postponement puts Mainers' Olympic dreams on hold

Kate Hall and Isaiah Harris are the two Mainers most often mentioned as possible qualifiers for the Olympic team.

CASCO, Maine — Maine's Olympic hopefuls will need to add another year to their lifetime of training.

The 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo will not begin as planned on July 24. The International Olympic Committee decided last week to postpone the global sports competition while the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

The news inspired a mix of understanding and disappointment from some of Maine's top athletes who have dedicated years of their lives in pursuit of making the U.S. Olympic team.

Kate Hall from Casco is an elite long jumper.

"My first reaction is...I am definitely disappointed, but not surprised considering everything that is going on," Hall said to NEWS CENTER Maine. "I also think it is the right choice because I think the priority should be the health of the athletes and just everyone in general. Another year just means more time to get faster, stronger and jump further. So I'm gonna keep training and take things one day at a time."

Those sentiments to make the best of the situation were echoed by Lewiston's Isaiah Harris. His specialty is the 800-meter run.

"I 100 percent feel that was the correct move by the IOC to delay the Games," Harris said. "And I just think it's gonna build even more excitement going into next year. And I'm looking forward to giving it my best shot and making that team next year now."

RELATED: Rescheduled Tokyo Olympics to open July 23, 2021

As motivation for their training, Hall, and Harris can mark their calendars for July 23, 2021. That is the new date for the opening ceremonies as announced Monday by the IOC. Despite the year-long delay, the games will still be credited as the 2020 Summer Olympics.

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