Locals won't be competiting in this year's Summer Olympics

Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 4:34 PM EDT
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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Aiken, SC--We knew the decision was coming and it was just a matter of when, but today, the International Olympic Committee making it official, this year's games in Tokyo won't take place. Instead, they are hoping to go forward with them in 2021.

It also means Doug Payne of Aiken will have to wait another summer before competing. Payne qualified in eventing in Peru and was set for Tokyo. It's not a complete shock seeing the hand writing had been on the wall for quite some time. He's trying to keep an optimistic approach on things.

"You become accustom to not relying on your plan "A" happening. There's always odd ball situations in the horse industry. They might twist an ankle, or get a little abcess or something that derails things. You become accustom to that flexibility early on and I think without it, you probably won't succeed" said Doug Payne.

Payne also said this could help in the long run. Some of his young horses will have another year of seasoning and could actually become their main horses for the games in 15 months.

He's not the only one who will have to wait, Phillip Dutton, who spends part of the year in Aiken will miss the games as well. He won bronze last year.

Also, Pardon Ndhlovu, the former Augusta University assistant cross country coach, had reached the "B" standard for the Marathon. He would have competed for his home country of Zimbabwe.

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