The eyes of the world should have been on Tokyo for the opening ceremony of the 2020 Olympic Games - but instead thousands of athletes from across the world must refocus their thoughts to next year - including those who had qualified to represent Ireland.

Among those is Jack Woolley, who if things had gone to plan, would be getting ready along with his Team Ireland teammates to head to Tokyo's Olympic Stadium for an unforgettable night. 

Instead he is in his training gym in Tallaght in Dublin, throwing ferocious kicks to the body and head of his training partner 'Bob' - who thankfully is a dummy. 

This was to be the taekwondo champion's first Olympic Games, but he insists that although he is over the initial disappointment of the 12-month postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic, it still stings. 

"I didn't really think about it much during lockdown, but it hit me this week", he said. 

"I didn't realise everything's flown by so quickly and someone just mentioned it because my Mam was due to fly out on Sunday (to Tokyo). So it's difficult to process." 

But Woolley is taking the positives out of the situation. 

"I've got one year to get better, faster, stronger," and said he is fully focused on July 2021.

The Tallaght man said if the Games had gone ahead as planned, he would realistically have been in contention for a bronze medal. But he said with the extra 12 months, there is no reason he cannot bring home a gold. 

"...you have to pick yourself back up and go again. We still have the opportunity, it's just a year away" 

At the National Sports Campus, Hockey Ireland's Hannah Matthews has just finished up a gym session.

The team memorably qualified for Tokyo late last year and months of hard training followed.

The news of the Games' postponement, while not unexpected, was a blow. 

"It was a massive achievement for us to qualify for the Olympics and we kind of felt we were nearly there, really close. So we were really devastated," she said. 

"But you have to pick yourself back up and go again. We still have the opportunity, it's just a year away." 

The hockey team have only recently resumed full training and the effects of the lockdown are evident, she said. 

"We're just trying to get back and get going again. We're all pretty rusty and maybe not as fit as we'd like to be." 

The defender said the pandemic has put other things in perspective.

"The last few months have been a rollercoaster. Hockey is not the be all and end all and there are lots of important things happening. It makes you reassess your priorities," she said. 

Matthews and her teammates are now looking to take advantage of the extra 12 months and are aiming to improve as a squad. 

At the National Sports Campus, Natalya Coyle has wrapped up her fencing training for the day. 

"It was tough coming back from being incredibly fit going to peak for a Games then going back to winter training again in the summer"

The modern pentathlete has competed in London 2012 and Rio 2016. 

She said the Tokyo Games were hopefully going to be her most successful, so the decision not to proceed with the Games this summer was a disappointment. 

"At the start I was really sad about it because it's a culmination of my career", she said. 

But after spending years training to peak for this summer's Games, the original starting date this week has drifted by almost unnoticed. 

''Until you guys said it, I was like, 'woah'. I couldn't believe it. I should be  over in Tokyo at a holding camp right now gearing up to be as fit as I possibly could.

"It was tough coming back from being incredibly fit going to peak for a Games then going back to winter training again in the summer. It feels a bit weird," Coyle said. 

But she said the missed months of training that lockdown brought means she is content that the Games were postponed.

"I suppose in the long run I think I'd hate going to the Games not prepared. I want to do myself justice, and so the extra time allows me to do that." 

The athletes now have an extra year to prepare and all say they are determined not to waste it.