Tokyo Olympics 2020: Future uncertain for Kiwi triathlete Andrea Hewitt after Games delay

Kiwi triathlete Andrea Hewitt admits she may struggle to regroup and qualify for the postponed Tokyo Olympics next year.

The 2020 Games, scheduled for July/August, were officially called off on Wednesday (NZ time), due to the global effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The International Olympic Committee intends rescheduling the event for the 2021 northern summer.

But for Hewitt, 37, that may be too long to extend her quest for a fourth - and final - Olympics campaign.

"That's definitely a possibility," she told Newshub. "There's no guarantee I can even make an Olympics, let alone wait until 2021.

"I have to wait and see what the race schedule looks like and what the qualification is."

Hewitt hadn't quite qualified for Tokyo, carrying a current Olympic ranking of 56th for a projected field of 55.

But she finished fourth at her most recent outing - the Mooloolaba World Cup two weeks ago - and won at Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic last November.

And she has a formidable track record at major events, finishing in the top seven at her three previous Olympic appearances, along with two Commonwealth Games bronze medals and an U23 world title.

"I was in good form," says Hewitt. "I had some really good races last year and the first two races this year.

"I was ready to race this season and to have that taken away is pretty hard.

"Just to prepare so much over the summer and have that taken away, that's the hardest thing, but everyone's in the same boat and there's nothing we can do about that now."

She fully endorses the IOC decision to postpone, regardless of the impact that might have on her own career.

"It was definitely the right call," says Hewitt. "There was no other option with what's been happening in every other country at the moment.

"Definitely, health comes first, before sport."

Hewitt has already been in self-isolation 10 days, after racing on the Gold Coast, but admitted she was well situated near a Christchurch beach, where she could swim and cycle without interacting with anyone during the one-month lockdown.

"I haven't really spoken to my coach about what's going to happen after these four weeks.

"The races have all been changed, so I'm not even sure if we can travel overseas for the rest of the year.

"Triathletes train a lot, so self-isolation is pretty hard, but everyone has to deal with this. We have a year now to train, so that's a good thing."