Ian Sagar, one of Barnsley’s best hopes for a medal in Tokyo, is devastated that he will have to wait a year to compete on his sport’s biggest stage.  

The wheelchair basketball star from Hoyland Common is hoping to represent Great Britain in a third Paralympics, having collected bronze four years ago in Rio to go with his four European Championship gold medals. 

The Olympics were due to take place from July 24 to August 9 then the Paralympics from August 25 to September 6.  But the International Olympic Committee postponed them for a year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Fom quarantine in his home in Italy, Sagar told the Chronicle: “It was very difficult to see how the Olympics and Paralympics could go ahead unmolested. It was the only sensible and intelligent decision that could be made. But it’s still really disappointing.  I had been going back to England every month, before the lockdown, to train with the GB squad and I had moved to a new team a two-hour drive away to give myself a better chance of selection. Now all that hard work is for nothing because I have had the rug pulled from under me.”

Sagar – who has been in a wheelchair since a motorbike crash in Barnsley when he was a teenager – is now focusing on preparing for the 2021 games. He said: “I will have to sit down and plan the next 12 months to make sure I am ready. I had been doing as much fitness work as I could but the pressure is off now as we have 18 months.  There is an underground carpark where we live with a ramp and I had been training by going up and down that every day. The GB team sent me what they call a ‘survival pack’ with facemasks and sanitiser because those items are like gold dust over here. The delay is not ideal for me because I will be 12 months older and a lot of the young players coming through will be 12 months better, so it will be hard to make the squad.” 

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Read more from Ian about being on lockdown in Italy in today's Chronicle.