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“The Tokyo Olympics are on,” IOA chief Dr Narinder Batra

Dr Narinder Batra asserts that every member of the Indian contingent travelling for the Tokyo Olympics will be vaccinated.

Narinder Batra

We are hardly two months away from the much-awaited Tokyo Olympics. The Games which were originally scheduled in 2020 was postponed as the pandemic brought the world to a standstill. Even as the postponed Games draw closer, the deadly virus continues to wreak havoc in the World.

With the general public of Japan against the hosting of the Olympics, the future of the carnival of sports is still uncertain. A recent poll by the Asahi newspaper found 59% of respondents were against any fans, up from 45% in April, with those in favor of just capping attendance dipping to 33% from 49%. An online petition asking the games be canceled has gained 400,000 signatures in a few weeks.

Despite all the obstacles on the way, the Japanese government and the International Olympic Association are unwavered in their efforts to go through with the Games.. “Whatever documents and emails we receive, we know that the Olympics are on. Whatever sources, whichever medium, the message is very clear, that the Olympics are happening. Better be prepared,” Indian Olympic Association chief Dr. Narinder Batra told TOI.

“India’s preparations for the Tokyo Olympics are going on in full swing,” Dr. Narinder Batra

India Contingent at London Olympics

Dr. Narinder Batra asserts that India’s preparations ahead of the Tokyo Olympics are in full swing. Dr. Batra shares that all the athletes have chosen their preferable place for training. And the association is making sure that all their needs are fulfilled so that they concentrate on the goal ahead.

Also Read: Anshu Malik living her father’s dream by competing in Tokyo Olympics

India’s preparations are going on in full swing. There is no problem in the preparation of any athlete. All of them have selected their own places, wherever they want to train, like the shooters have gone to Croatia, the weightlifter (Mirabai Chanu) has gone to the USA.

The hockey teams are based in Bengaluru; they are happy over there. Some athletes (track and field) are in Bengaluru, some are in Patiala. Equestrian (athlete, Fouaad Mirza) is out of India and will fly from there only. Badminton, table tennis, training for everyone is on. They are doing proper training wherever they are,” asserts Dr. Batra.

Dr. Batra feels that the final contingent of India will of around 200 including the support staff and he assert that the ful contingent will be vaccinated. “I think our final contingent size would be anywhere between 125 and 140. With the officials included, it will be anywhere between 190 to 210. The entire Indian contingent will be vaccinated. We are working on the long-list currently,” Dr. Batra adds.

The final list will be closed somewhere around the third week of June. It’s something we want to inform — whether it is Tokyo, the world or anyone — that every single athlete and official going to Japan from India will be vaccinated. In India, every athlete is being vaccinated with Covishield. So if they have taken one shot in India and the second shot is due outside (while training overseas), then it will be AstraZeneca. Both are approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Sushil Kumar has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately as he was arrested in a murder case on Sunday. The two-time Olympic medalist has been named as the prime accused in the murder of young wrestler Sagar Rana. Dr. Batra shares that the Sushil he knows is very humble and one has to wait for the result of the investigation to comment on innocence.

I know Sushil Kumar personally. The impression I have about him is a very soft-spoken, very respectful and very nice person. I don’t know about this issue in detail. Police investigation is going on. Let’s wait for the investigation to come out (with its findings). The Sushil Kumar I know is a very gentle person,” he signs off.

Also Read: Countdown to Tokyo Olympics: Know your Olympian – Bajrang Punia