Gymnast Max Whitlock is determined to stay positive and keep his Olympic preparations on track after the Games in Tokyo were postponed from this summer.

The International Olympic Committee and Japanese organisers announced on Tuesday that the Olympics and Paralympics will be pushed back to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Whitlock told BBC Breakfast: “It’s a crazy time that we’re living in. The Olympics have been postponed, which is better than being cancelled, so everyone’s trying to stay positive.

Max Whitlock with one of his 2016 Olympic gold medals
Max Whitlock with one of his 2016 Olympic gold medals (Steve Paston/PA)

“It’s hard for athletes, it’s hard for me – I had a really good year last year, I was feeling good going into this year.

“But the priority now for everyone is to stay safe, stay at home, protect everyone you can and do everything we can to help make this go away as quickly as possible.”

Whitlock, one of Team GB’s leading medal hopes in Tokyo, admitted it will be difficult to prepare for the delayed Games in the absence of regular competition and some creativity will be required.

“It’s gutting, it’s disappointing, every sporting event has been moved or cancelled so this will be a year of pretty much no competitions, which is difficult,” he said.

“That does add into the build-up of Tokyo next year, it will make it harder, but as an athlete you have to be adaptable.

“I’ve got a pommel horse in my garden, I’m keeping up my training, I think you just have to be creative with what you’ve got at home – keep fit, keep active and keep the structure of life as much as possible.”