‘Life comes first’: Indian athletes support Olympic postponementMarch 25, 2020
India’s top Olympic-bound athletes supported the decision to postpone the Tokyo Games by a year. The quadrennial showpiece event, which was scheduled to be held from July 24 to August 9, will now be held on a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021. The development was mutually agreed between Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach on Tuesday evening.
“The situation right now is not good. Life always comes first, everything else can wait. Players’ safety is paramount. Everyone who took this decision factored this in. I think it’s good for everyone,” celebrated boxer Mary Kom, a bronze-medallist at London 2012 who was gearing up for her second Olympics, told PTI.
“Now I get more time to prepare, our training plans can be extended. And it’s not just for me, it is true for everyone around the world,” she added.
Saina, also a bronze-winner at the 2012 Games, held a similar view. She was racing against time to qualify for Tokyo after all the qualifying events stood cancelled due to the deadly coronavirus outbreak, which has caused more than 16,000 deaths worldwide.
“Happy that it’s postponed even though some of us haven’t qualified. We are eager to know what the qualification (process) would be like going ahead,” she said.
“As an athlete who’s played Olympics before I would say it’s good as everyone can chill now and not worry about preparations amid a lockdown. We all have to be safe first and then we can think about preparations,” she added, referring to the lockdown in India to contain the pandemic.