IOA asks NSFs to start planning for Tokyo 2021 games

Indian Olympic Association supported the new dates for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which will be held from 23 July to 8 August, 2021.

IOA president Narinder Batra has told the National Sports Federations to begin planning for the 2021 Olympics.   -  GETTY IMAGES

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Monday asked all the national sports federations to chalk out training programmes to prepare their athletes for the Tokyo Games, postponed to next summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tokyo Olympics will begin on July 23 next year, organisers said on Monday, after the global health crisis forced the unprecedented decision to postpone the Games until 2021.

“All Olympic sports NSFs (National Sports Federations) are requested to please start their draft planning structure for preparation for Tokyo 2021 and for Paris 2024,” IOA president Narinder Batra said in a release.

The Tokyo Olympics were due to open on July 24 this year and run for a fortnight but the coronavirus outbreak forced the first peace-time postponement of the Games.

This was after weeks of insistence on the part of both International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the local organising body that the Games would go on as scheduled despite opposition from top athletes and influential sports bodies.

READ: Indian hockey teams pleased with certainty over 2021 Tokyo Olympics

Soon after the new dates were announced, IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta said, “Indian Olympic Association along with the National Sports Federations welcome and support the new dates for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which will be held from 23 July to 8 August, 2021.”

Two days ago, the IOA chief had asked the NSFs to share the calendar of their athletes’ preparations for the Games.

Batra is an IOC member as well as the president of International Hockey Federation (FIH).

Nearly 80 Indian athletes have so far qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in seven sports — athletics, archery, boxing, equestrian, hockey, shooting and wrestling.

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