No overseas fans at Tokyo Olympics: Indian athletes won’t have personal coaches


India’s medal prospects for the Tokyo Olympics are making ready for a situation the place their personal coaches and different assist workers — physiotherapists, psychologists, and so on — in addition to relations won’t be with them through the occasion.

This is due to the choice introduced by the organisers of the Tokyo Games on Saturday to not permit overseas fans due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the earlier Olympics, the association when it got here to very important assist workers, not a part of the Indian Olympic Association’s official contingent, labored like this: They stayed at rented accomodation within the host metropolis and bought tickets or received day passes to fulfill the athlete at the competitors/coaching venue or the Games Village. This method relations, too, received to fulfill the athlete.

However, strict restrictions have been put in place this time due to the pandemic.

In an announcement, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach mentioned ‘their Japanese partners did not reach this conclusion lightly’ however the high precedence was ‘safety of the Japanese people’.

The choice is prone to influence Indian athletes. Take as an illustration the case of wrestler Bajrang Punia. One of the important thing individuals who has catapulted Punia from the fringes of India’s Olympic workforce in 2016 to being a medal contender heading into the Tokyo Games is his Georgian coach Shako Bentinidis.

However, when the second will arrive to combat for the Olympic medal come July-August, Bentinidis won’t be there in Punia’s nook.

Shooter Rahi Sarnobat has reconciled to the truth that athletes like her will have to cope with the state of affairs much more by themselves.

“We will have to be responsible for ourselves as not all coaches and support staff will be able to travel to Tokyo,” says Sarnobat. “We have to remain fit and understand our requirements so we can deal with any situation by ourselves at the Olympics.”

Normally, there’s a cap (33 % of the certified athletes) on the variety of coaches and assist workers that may accompany a workforce at the Olympics and keep contained in the Athletes Village. This quota is normally stuffed by these working immediately with the nationwide workforce.

India is anticipated to ship a contingent of near 150 athletes for the Olympics, which had been postponed final 12 months after the outbreak of the pandemic.

This time, like previous events, the Indian Olympic Association and Sports Authority of India had plans to lease an residence close to the Village to accommodate the assist workers members of medal prospects who weren’t a part of the official contingent. But that plan will have to be revisited.

“We had prepared a list with the names of all coaches and support staff of the athletes who are potential medalists,” mentioned an official who’s concerned within the preparation technique of the workforce. “But after Saturday’s decision, we will have to relook at our plans.”

The choice to not permit overseas fans comes on the again of the recommendation given by the organisers to athletes in February to not enterprise outdoors the Village aside from coaching and competitors.

“I do not think I will be able to go and if I manage to go without accreditation, it will not serve any purpose as I will not be able to meet my athlete because of the restrictions,” says a coach who works with a number one medal prospect.

“I have already told my athlete to start preparing for that situation. In such a scenario, we will revert to video calls like we did during the lockdown.”

Shuttler PV Sindhu, too, has her personal physio whereas wrestler Vinesh Phogat, like Bajrang, has been working with a international coach – Hungarian Woller Akos – since mid-2018.

A majority of the 15 shooters who have thus far received quota locations, too, have their very own assist workers. “For athletes going for the first time, it will be tough,” Sarnobat, who competed within the London Olympics in 2012, says.


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