Covid leaves judo team stranded in Kyrgyzstan, Tokyo far away

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IN BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, for the Asia Oceania Championship, the Indian judo team is stranded at a lodge, with meals and money working out, after two gamers examined constructive. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and the Ministry of External Affairs are in contact with the gamers to carry them again.

The 19-member team together with gamers and training workers had been quarantined at a lodge, 90 minutes away from the match venue, late night on Tuesday. Following the 2 constructive instances, the Indian team was not allowed to compete in the match, which gives essential rating factors to qualify for the July 23-August 9 Olympics.

Players stated there is no such thing as a provision for meals on the facility, and after working out of native forex, they made an SOS name to the Indian Embassy. “The organisers have literally thrown us at this hotel… Each of us had just one sandwich in the morning, which was arranged from outside. We are still waiting for lunch and it is already close to evening,” Avtar Singh, who competed in the Rio Olympics and is hoping to qualify for this yr’s Tokyo Games, advised The Indian Express.

He added: “Most of us did not bring cash as we thought we will use our credit cards at the hotel we were staying in for the competition. We could not get currency converted as we are quarantined. Whatever cash the coaches had, most of it was spent ordering food.”

According to an official, India was to ship a 20-member team of gamers and training workers for the championship.

However, earlier than leaving Delhi, one judoka examined constructive and didn’t journey. The remainder of the team was examined once more after touchdown in Bishkek, and all of them had been unfavorable.

Before the weigh-in, although, one other take a look at was carried out on the gamers which resulted in one judoka testing constructive on Tuesday. The participant is asymptomatic, the team official stated. “Because of the local rules, all 19 of us are quarantined since we travelled together,” the team official stated. “Consequently, none of our judokas could take part in the competition.”

On Wednesday, one other Indian participant examined constructive.

In an announcement, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) stated that the judokas had undergone 4 rounds of testing between March 30 and April 5 — two in the weeks earlier than leaving, one after touchdown in Bishkek and one a day earlier than the competitors. “It was in the fourth test, before the competition, that the two were found Covid positive,” the SAI stated. “They don’t have any major symptoms but have been quarantined at a safe facility.”

The SAI stated the each day necessities are being “looked after by the money allocated to them (the team) as daily allowance for competition”. “The Sports Ministry is in consultation with the Ministry of External Affairs to bring the players back safe.”

A lady participant, who didn’t want to be named, stated: “After the positive case, the whole team was shifted to the hotel… If the organisers are not letting us play, then they should send us back.”

At the identical time, gamers are anxious in regards to the influence of the missed match on their probabilities to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. According to the factors fashioned by the worldwide federation, the highest 18 gamers in every class are assured of a spot on the Games.

While no Indian options in this checklist, they may have clinched a spot by topping the continental rating checklist. An official stated India’s high judoka Sushila Likmabam, ranked forty fourth in the world in the under-48 kg class, was comfortably positioned in the continental rating checklist and had a beneficial draw this week, which might have all however sealed her qualification.

However, her path to Tokyo will now get unsure following the team’s withdrawal from the occasion. “We will have two more chances to get ranking points before the June 28 deadline for Olympic qualification. There is a Grand Slam in Russia in May and the World Championship in June. Whoever has the highest number of points after these tournaments will qualify. This was a very good chance for us to consolidate our spot, especially for Sushila. Unfortunately, we will have to wait and watch now,” a team official stated.

Judo Federation of India (JFI) president Partap Singh Bajwa, additionally a Rajya Sabha MP, stated they wrote to Indian Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Alok Dimri on Wednesday, asking him to intervene. “The JFI and Indian Embassy are taking full responsibility for the health and safety of the Indian team. Kyrgyzstan’s judo federation, too, has updated us on the possibility of early departure of the Indian team members instead of the scheduled departure on April 10,” Bajwa stated.

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