TOM Gale has fully backed the decision to postpone the Olympic Games in Tokyo until 2021.

The Japanese Government and International Olympic Committee took the decision on Tuesday in response to the global coronavirus pandemic.

That understandable decision means that 21-year-old Trowbridge international high jumper will have to put on hold his dream of taking part in his first Olympic Games, despite being a hot contender to make his debut after achieving the qualifying standard during a superb indoor season.

“It was definitely the right decision,” said Gale.

“It has been very hard training in the circumstances at the moment, so I am glad they have taken the decision.

“The other day they said it would take a month to make a decision but in the meantime there is a chance of putting yourself or your family under risk and no-one wants that.

“Now the decision has been made we have a good reason to stay at home and out of harm’s way until it all blows over.”

Gale had looked set to make his debut at the global event in July after achieving the UK Athletics qualifying standard during a superb indoor campaign in which he cleared a personal best of 2.33m and finished the season as number one in the country.

Gale would still have to prove his form at the British Championships, incorporating the Olympic trials, in the summer but with live sport in lockdown and society in turmoil he accepts that his ambitions will have to be put on the back-burner.

“Of course, in an ideal world we would be planning for the Olympics but we cannot pretend nothing is wrong and risk catching it,” added Gale.

“I definitely think the smart move is to postpone the Olympics for the year.”

Gale travels over to Cardiff regularly to link up with his coach Denis Doyle and use their indoor facilities and also trains at Bath University’s sports training village. Both venues are now closed.

“I cannot go to see my coach in Cardiff anyway because he is in the at-risk category,” added Gale.

“Fitness and form goes away very quickly so I am just doing some general conditioning training just to tick over.

“It is a very difficult situation but we are all in it together and we have to try and do what we can.

“Once it has all blown over I can hopefully get back into winter training and enjoy another indoor season.

“As long as I can stay healthy I should be an even stronger and better athlete in 2021, so really the decision to postpone should be in my favour.”