Athletes feel the heat in Patiala, keen to train in Kerala

With the temperature in Patiala touching 45 degrees, athletes are keen to move to Thiruvananthapuram to begin training. The athletes have been in NIS Patiala since March.

Bedros Bedrosian, the national coach for jumps, says he prefers training his wards in Thiruvananthapuram.   -  Special Arrangement

With the heat wave striking several parts of North India, some of country's top athletes preparing for next year's Tokyo Olympics are keen to move from Patiala's SAI-NIS Centre and return to the cooler climes of the SAI-LNCPE in Thiruvananthapuram.

“We are waiting to somehow get back to Kerala. It's very hot here, 45 degrees,” said Bedros Bedrosian, the national coach for jumps, in a chat with Sportstar from Patiala on Tuesday.

“We came to Patiala (from Thiruvananthapuram) on March 1 since they had planned a series of meets here. Now, it's almost three months. Everybody wants to get out from here, even the 4x400m (relay) team, but nobody is telling us anything. And training has not started.”

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However Thiruvananthapuram, also a national camp centre, has a hitch too. The LNCPE track there is being relaid and though work was supposed to be over by now, the lockdown has delayed everything.

“The track will be ready only by September. We are a bit worried about the rain because it is likely to affect the health and quality of the track. So, we have to be very careful while laying it,” said a SAI source adding that relay team coach Galina Bukharina also prefers the Thiruvananthapuram centre over others.

September is fine with Bedrosian.

“I don't need the track before September. I can use the grass portion and the gym. And if we needed, once a week, we can go to the Police Stadium which is not very far away. If city travel is not allowed, we can go out after one month,” said the Romanian.

“I prefer Kerala because we can have beach training there, that's very important for us. We go thrice a week to the beach, sometimes every day, in Thiruvananthapuram. Here (in Patiala), there is no beach.

SAI spends ₹8.25 crore on Khelo India athletes’ out-of-pocket allowance  

“Also, the recovery rate of COVID-19 patients in Kerala is very good, we feel more secure there. I am just waiting for the flight schedules to be normal and safe so that we can travel. I think it will probably take a month.”

Calls to chief coach Bahadur Singh and deputy coach Radhakrishnan Nair for their plans did not evoke any response.

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