Road to next year's Olympics, IOA takes stock

IOA preparations committee held a meeting with NSF representatives to take stock of the situation in light of the COVID-19 and decide the way forward for Tokyo 2021.

Lalit Bhanot held a meeting with NSF representatives to decide the way forward for Tokyo 2021 (File photo).   -  Sushil Kumar Verma

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) preparations committee, headed by Lalit Bhanot, held a meeting with NSF representatives on Wednesday to take stock of the situation in light of the COVID-19 and decide the way forward for Tokyo 2021.

While there was unanimity that the younger athletes who have already qualified for the Olympics would benefit from the delay by gaining experience, there would be others who may not be able to sustain another year, indicating there might be a change of course in terms of player selection across sports.

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“Athletes who have been carrying injuries and who have already matured may find it difficult to carry on for another year under extreme conditions. Some have already taken maximum load to peak in 2020, they may find it difficult to sustain...” the federations maintained.

It was decided that training would be restricted to within the country at least till the end of this year, and only at SAI Centres, after discussing the requisite protocols and guidelines with SAI and sports ministry. Help was also sought to decide on extensions to coaches and other staff on a priority basis.

The video-conference was also attended by TOPS CEO Commander Rajesh Rajagopalan for the government’s views.

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