Kiren Rijiju is confident of Tokyo Olympics going ahead

Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju dismissed speculation that the Tokyo Olympics might be further postponed.

Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju alongside Olympian Anup Sridhar at the KBA Academy in Bengaluru.   -  K. MURALI KUMAR

Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju dismissed speculation that the Tokyo Olympics might be further postponed. The mega-event, which was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is scheduled to commence on July 23.

“The latest report I have received is that the Olympics will not be postponed further. The Olympics is the biggest event in the world. The dates of the Olympics are sacrosanct. It is not easy to change it,” Rijiju, who attended events at the Anup Sridhar Badminton Academy and Karnataka Badminton Association (KBA) here, said on Monday.

Read: Karnataka to host Khelo India University Games 2021  

The COVID-19 vaccination drive for India's Tokyo-bound athletes will commence after frontline workers are covered, Rijiju said.

“The priority right now is the frontline warriors like paramedics, nurses and doctors. Our Tokyo-bound athletes, coaches and technical team members are next in line. It should happen soon. I’ve already discussed this with Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. We will ensure that our Olympic athletes get all the support they need,” he said.

Also read: Sports Ministry wants to start vaccination for Olympic-bound athletes from March end

Rijiju started his two-day tour of the State by laying the foundation stone for a multi-sports indoor stadium at Sahyadri College in Shivamogga. On Sunday morning, he participated in a Fit India Triathlon event in Bengaluru, before heading to the Basavanagudi Aquatic Centre (BAC). Rijiju then visited Sports Authority of India (SAI), where he inaugurated the gymnasium complex.