‘We have to use this opportunity of delay’, AFI President to Athletes

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Athletics Federation of India’s president Adille J Sumariwalla has reportedly urged Indian athletes to make sure that they take maximum advantage of the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Recently, the planning committee of AFI held a video conference with some of the national campers, coaches, and support staffs in order to encourage athletes, so that they maintain their physical fitness and strictly follow their diet charts regularly.

Sumariwalla said in a statement, “We are really glad that all of you are fit and safe at the camps in Patiala, Bengaluru and Ooty. With Olympics 2020 being postponed to 2021 and World Championships, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games scheduled to take place in 2022, it will be a tough challenge for you all.”

“We have to use this opportunity of delay to our advantage and you have to be mentally prepared for these challenges from today itself. With the changed scenario and back to back major events planned for the next two years, we will have to adapt to a single phase of the competition period,” he further added.

The coronavirus pandemic has already forced the postponement of The 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Further, The new dates of the tournament next year are decided to be July 23 to August 8, and for the Paralympics it is from August 24 to September 5, 2021.

Sumariwalla further also stated that they will be trying to resume their domestic competitions from September-October 2020 itself.

He said, “We will try to resume our domestic competitions from September-October 2020 and for next year from March-April 2021. With the postponement of Olympics, we hope that now many young athletes also stand a chance to qualify for the Olympics 2021 while seniors need to focus on their existing fitness to grab this opportunity.”

“At this stage, we cannot say anything about any foreign exposure camp later in the year, but for sure, we will plan for international competitions-cum-training camps for 2021. We are monitoring the situation at the camps and when the situation allows, you will be allowed to train outside after the consultation with SAI,” Sumariwalla further added.

The online conference was attended by around 50 athletes and also almost 30 members of the coaching team.

Members of The AFI Planning Committee Chairman Lalit K Bhanot, Deputy Chief Coach Radhakrishnan Nair and Volker Hermann, National Chief Coach Bahadur Singh, AFI High-Performance Director were also present there.

SOURCE- ANI

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