Olympic dream uncertain for Thai boxer after virus knocks out plans

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Every sporting event in the world is either postponed or cancelled due to the ongoing Novel Coronavirus pandemic. Tokyo Olympics isn’t spared too, the biggest sporting festival in the World is now postponed to 2021.

Meanwhile, Thai boxer Chatchai-decha Butdee continues to train as best he can for the Olympics by training 5 days a week.

Chatchai-decha hopes the third Olympic Games can bring a career-capping medal in the featherweight division. He is a four-time South Asian game champion.

His is 35 now, and he is afraid because of the delayed Olympic Games, as this may mean he could pass his prime days before the Games can be held.

“I originally planned to end my career after this year’s Olympic Games as I’m getting older,” Chatchai-decha told. “If the Olympics have to be postponed for another two to three years, I would just give up my place in the Games,” he added.

For now, he remains on a strict training schedule with the 2021 event in sight.

He runs 5 kilometres, swings weights in a narrow alley near his home and shadow boxes in car parks. Bangkok gyms were closed due to this pandemic.

“I was a bit frustrated, because according to the plan laid out by the Thai Boxing Federation, I am supposed to be in France right now, gathering (boxing) experience and studying my opponents. But now that things have changed, we’re back to square one,” said Chatchai-decha.

Chatchai-decha started boxing at the age of 8, his professional years since 2000. He won bronze in the flyweight division at the 2013 world championships in Almaty.

Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori said in an interview published on Tuesday that the Games would be “scrapped” if they could not take place in the next year.

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