Indian athletes may travel to Tokyo early to acclimatise

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju is keen to send the participants early to get used to the conditions

By Olympic Channel Writer

Indian contingent might leave early for Tokyo Olympics so that they get enough time to get their bearings in place ahead of the mega event.

The sports ministry is in talks with IOA (Indian Olympic Association) about it and is hopeful of executing the plan smoothly.

"Only three months are left for the Olympic Games. Athletes are giving their best to book their seats for the Olympics and do well for the country. The ministry is also planning to send the Olympic team in advance so that they would get time to adjust to the climate over there. They will be able to train in those conditions which will help them during the competition," Kiren Rijiju, union sports minister, told ANI.

"Arrangements are being made for our athletes and their team (technical), they will be put up in different locations in Japan. Right now, some of them are still participating in tournaments. There are some qualification events happening.

"But we have made a detailed plan for it. I have spoken to the Indian Olympic Association and we have a committee headed by me to plan and prepare for the Olympics and the entire management. The athletes will be able to train and practice wherever they will stay," he added.

Bajrang Punia

Bajrang Punia has already received a shot of the Covid-19 vaccine, although the ministry has not put out an official word on the commencement of vaccination for Tokyo-bound athletes.

Rijiju confirmed that he is in talks with the concerned ministry and the process will start soon for other athletes as well.

"For vaccination, we are in discussion with the health ministry. He (Bajrang) must have thought that because there is a delay, he wanted to be secure. I cannot make any comment right now but we are worried about the safety of all the players," Rijiju said.

However, the wrestler said that he has followed all due procedure before getting vaccinated.

"I followed the procedure which has been laid out for the common man. I had registered for it. I am feeling ok, there was a slight headache and heaviness after I took a shot but I am perfectly alright now," Bajrang said.

He booked his ticket to Tokyo Games in September 2019 after winning a bronze medal at the World Championships.