'Someone help': Olympic athlete's awkward tattoo blunder

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor
Derlys Ayala in the marathon at the 2019 Athletics World Championships in Doha. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)

The postponement of the 2020 Olympics has had a particularly awkward consequence for Paraguayan runner Derlys Ayala.

The International Olympic Committee confirmed on Tuesday that Tokyo 2020 will actually be Tokyo 2021, postponing the Games until next year.

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Japanese officials have since vowed to keep the Tokyo 2020 branding despite the Olympics taking place in 2021, but that hasn’t stopped Ayala calling for help to fix an embarrassing blunder.

Ayala took to social media to show off the ‘Tokyo 2020’ tattoo he got on his leg after qualifying for the Games.

“Can someone help me put 2021,” he wrote alongside a pic of his tattoo on Instagram.

And there were some creative responses.

“Tokyo 2020+1,” one user wrote.

Another commented: “Take advantage of the 0 to write one.”

While another user suggested: “Tokyo 2020 will be history for what has happened, do not modify it.”

Athletes qualified for Tokyo 2020 will keep 2021 spots

Athletes like Ayala who had already qualified for the 2020 Olympics will keep their places when the showpiece takes place in 2021, sources told AFP on Thursday.

Around 57% of the 11,000 scheduled participants for Tokyo had already made sure of taking part when the IOC pushed the Games back to 2021 due to coronavirus on Tuesday.

The IOC and 32 international sports federations held a teleconference on Thursday where it was decided to respect the qualification process.

“Thomas Bach (the IOC President) first explained the reasons for the postponement of the Games, then said that the athletes qualified for Tokyo 2020 would automatically be qualified for 2021,” one of the participants in the conference told AFP.

“One of the main subjects was to know when and how to organise the qualifications.

“In some federations, many sportsmen and sportswomen are not qualified and it takes at least three months for the Olympic Games to organise them.”

The 2020 Tokyo Games were scheduled for July 24 - August 9, but after telephone discussions between Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a historic joint decision was taken for the first postponement of an Olympics in peacetime

However, there is no definite date yet for the rescheduled Games with Bach saying Tuesday the Tokyo Olympics “must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.”

with AFP