Tokyo Olympics 2021 | Other Sports

Should the Tokyo Games be held?

V. Baskaran.  

The Malaysian Open has been postponed, leaving badminton stars like Saina Nehwal and K. Srikanth shattered.

And last week, Indians were forced to miss the World Athletics Relays in Poland, an Olympic qualifier, as many European countries banned flights from India. There were also issues with the archers’ travel plans to Lausanne for the World Cup Stage-2.

The Olympics are less than 80 days away but the coronavirus surge, travel restrictions and long quarantine have been left athletes restless and confused.

So, should the Olympics, which are scheduled to begin on July 23, be held?

“I’m all for having the Olympics. They come once in four years and a lot of hard work is involved,” said former badminton international and coach Vimal Kumar.

“Only an athlete and people involved will know the pain a cancellation brings. I’m very confident the Japanese will manage it with super efficiency, without any issues. Those who are worried can stay away.”

V. Baskaran, captain of the Indian hockey team that won gold at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, said the Games should be postponed to November-December.

“If they are unable to do that, they should cancel it. In a team game, what happens if one player tests COVID positive. Will they stop the whole team? Whatever it is, the life of an athlete is more important than anything else,” he said.

Anju Bobby George, the lone Indian to win a World Championship medal in 2003 (long jump bronze), was undecided.

“If you look from the athletes’ angle, years of hard work will go waste if the Games are not held. But if you have an Olympics now, it will not be a fair event because many athletes may miss the event and sometimes athletes may catch COVID in Japan and may not be able to compete,” she said. “So, am completely confused where to stand.”

Anas for it

“Having prepared so much for it and after having missed the World Relays, the Olympics should be held,” said former Asian champion Muhammed Anas, the 400m National record holder. “Of course, even if it is held there could be problems since the situation is bad. If they are having it, they should have it with only athletes.”

Asian champion Jinson Johnson feels that if the Olympics happen, it will remove all the uncertainty over next year’s events like the Asiad and Commonwealth Games.


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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 6:52:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/should-the-tokyo-games-be-held/article34509128.ece

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