Tokyo: India continues to prep

India International Sports

“I need to continue training to maintain my progress. Next year is a big year with Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games,” said Srihari Natraj, Indian swimmer

Bangalore: Members and athletes of the Indian Sports Association (ISA) continue training as they look forward to Tokyo Olympics and other international competitions. 

“The athletes are all dependent on the organizing committee and are under training,” said Anup Narang, spokesperson of the Badminton Association of India

The decision to go ahead with the Tokyo Olympics has come under a lot of flak. On Wednesday, Asahi Shimbun, an official sponsor of the Tokyo Olympics, urged the cancellation of the event. In an editorial, it wrote ‘Our biggest fear, needless to say, concerns the Games’ impact on the health of citizens’ and ‘possibility that after virus carriers from around the world have converged in Japan, the virus will then scatter to all over the world.’

Ashwin Ferro, Deputy Sports Editor of Midday, said, “It’s the need of the hour to resume a mega sporting activity like this. The athletes are supremely fit and the virus has a low effectivity rate on such bodies. The organizing committee will definitely maintain a bio bubble to maintain the risk of anyone contracting the virus.“

Ferro is one of the journalists who will cover the event in Tokyo. He said their living arrangements have been changed according to the organizing committee. 

Narang said, “The organizers are introspecting various issues and we’re sure they’ll come up with a solution according to the protocols and guidelines.” 

He explained that the government sponsors the complete program for the athletes including coaches and diets of the participants so finance is not an issue. “It is difficult to train due to the lockdown imposed across the nation but it’s a force majeure situation,” he said. 

Indian swimmer, Srihari Natraj, who created a national record in the Uzbekistan Open Championship in April said, “We’re facing a tough time so there’s no point stressing about it as it’s not in our control. We just continue training the best we can and to get to other goals. Personally, I was not just training for the Olympics. I’m looking ahead at the next four to eight years so I need to continue training to maintain my progress. Next year is a big year with the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games.” 

He and his coach have made a list of tournaments that he’ll be participating in in June. They are not planning to travel anywhere outside Bangalore, said Natraj, who has been working out at home because the pools are shut

“Most sportsmen have been training for these competitions for years. This is a once-in-a-lifetime for some. Their years of training will go to waste if the organizing committee decides to cancel it. We want it to happen with safety measures in mind”, said Onkar Singh, Chairman of the Cycling Federation of India.