Indian shooting team welcomes Tokyo Games postponement

The Indian shooting team has welcomed decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics to no later than the summer of 2021.

Manu Bhaker echoed the team's thought of "health above all".   -  GETTY IMAGES

The Indian shooting team has welcomed the joint announcement made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee to postpone the Olympics to no later than the summer of 2021.

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Junior rifle team coach Suma Shirur said, "Considering the coronavirus outbreak, we saw it (the decision) coming. The whole world is affected. The athletes are not being able to train and considering the situation, this was the right decision. Postponing it by a year is better and now it gives the athletes more time to prepare, which wasn't possible until now, due to the lockdown."

Apurvi Chandela is currently training at her own shooting range in Jaipur.   -  PTI Photo

 

Arjuna awardee Apurvi Chandela, who has been practising at her shooting range at home in Jaipur, was taken aback by the decision. She said the decision won't affect her preparations. "I just got to know that the Games have been pushed to 2021, so that is another year-and-a-half to go. So we have to look at our preparations and stay focused. We can't do much about it now."

READ: Tokyo Olympics postponed to 2021

Asian Games bronze medalist Abhishek Verma is currently self-quarantined at his house in Chandigarh. He accepts that this decision is about introducing parity in the events so that everyone can participate in full health in 2021. “This is an important announcement keeping the public interest in mind. It was necessary to ensure public safety, as well. All the countries will be able to participate in full health, next year."

Pistol shooter Manu Bhaker, however, was a bit disappointed with the call. She echoed the team's thought of 'health above all'. "The news is a bit disappointing, but then again, human health is the priority. I am sure a lot of thinking has gone behind the decisions that have been taken. Please follow the WHO and government guidelines and stay at home,” she said.