The Government will provide extra care and assistance to athletes participating in the Tokyo Olympics as per their special requirements amid the COVID-19 pandemic, said Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday.
Noting that the athletes are facing complicated challenges while preparing for Tokyo Olympics due to the ongoing health crisis, Rijiju said in a tweet said that the Government will provide extra assistance in their training ahead of the Olympics starting July 23.
Due to pandemic our athletes are facing complicated challenges while preparing for the Tokyo Olympics. Govt will provide extra care and assistance to our athletes as per their special requirements. https://t.co/HBO0vZ9tbQ— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) May 1, 2021
The Sports Minister’s tweet came after star weightlifter Mirabai Chanu received the green signal to shift her training base to St. Louis, USA, until the Olympics. The Sports Authority of India Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) has sanctioned around Rs 70.8 lakh for Chanu's one-and-a-half month-long overseas training in the USA.
Chanu, who bagged the bronze medal in the recently-concluded Asian Championship by lifting 86kg in snatch and a world record of 119kg in clean and jerk for a total of 205kg, is the brightest medal prospect at the Olympics. She will directly depart for Tokyo from the USA.
The second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic in India has created many hurdles in the training of athletes gearing up for the Olympic games. On Friday, steeplechaser Avinash Sable's preparations for Tokyo suffered a setback as he tested positive for COVID-19 at the national camp in Bengaluru.
Apart from him, Asian Games 1500m champion Jinson Johnson and Olympic-bound race walker Priyanka Goswami along with three other athletes and racewalking coach Alexander Artsybashev also tested positive for the virus at the Bengaluru national camp a couple of weeks ago. In athletics, there are two, Priyanka and Avinash Sable, who have been infected in the Bengaluru national camp as far as the Olympic team goes.