Other Sports

Postponement an athlete’s nightmare

Aloysius Edwards.

Aloysius Edwards.  

Calls for re-drawing plans and fortitude to keep going

Rescheduling of a major event is any athlete’'s nightmare, says 1996 Atlanta Olympics hockey goalkeeper Aloysius Edwards.

Months of planning and preparation go for a toss, Edwards, who represented India in 147 internationals between 1989 and 2000, including the 1994 World Cup, told The Hindu on Tuesday on receiving news of the Tokyo Olympics being postponed.

“The worst-hit will be those who are on the verge of making it to the Olympics, the dream of any athlete,” he says.

Different challenge

“The challenge is of a different nature, too, given that the athlete is at home during a lockdown. If you are forced indoors by injury, you know you can make it back by working on it, but here you are staring at grim possibilities,” he says.

“There will be some who may miss the bus for the simple reason that there will be fresh guidelines and qualifying standards, especially in individual disciplines. Young contenders who cannot be ignored will emerge.

“With each passing month, it will be difficult to sustain the motivation to keep going as the time-frame has changed,” he feels.

“Most athletes prepare with the specific objective of peaking at the right time for a major event, especially the Olympics. And, the Games not being held as scheduled will be a huge dampener,” he said.

And, Edwards should know what it means to miss an Olympics! For, after attending the one-month preparatory camp in Brisbane before the 2000 Sydney Olympics and even being presented the official No. 12 jersey (which he exchanged with Jude Felix’s No. 1 on the latter’s request), the Hyderabadi was sent home and Devesh Chauhan preferred.

Hurdles

“There are bound to be many hurdles when the original schedule is changed. A major challenge for athletes, as well as coaches, will be re-drawing the entire training programme,” he says.

“However, postponement was the only sensible option left for the Olympics organisers, given the grim scenario across the world. After all, athletes’ health and safety are of paramount importance,” he concluded.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 2:11:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/postponement-an-athletes-nightmare/article31154750.ece

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