Tokyo-bound boxers, shooters test COVID-positive, training hit

Boxer Simranjit Kaur is down with the virus while a proposed shooting camp is on hold after three tested positive.

By Rahul Venkat

Indian boxer Simranjit Kaur has tested positive for COVID-19 at a camp at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Monday.

The National Rifle Association of India has also confirmed that three shooters had caught the virus and a pre-World Cup camp in Croatia has been put on hold.

Simranjit Kaur, who competes in the 60kg category, has already earned a berth for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics at the Asian boxing qualifiers last year.

After Simranjit’s positive COVID test, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has decided to suspend training for fellow Tokyo-bound boxers Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg).

London 2012 bronze-medallist MC Mary Kom has been training on her own with her personal coach, and was thus unaffected.

Lovlina Borgohain, who tested COVID-positive last year and has since recovered, and Pooja Rani, have tested negative and have been asked to return home.

The duo had been training alongside Simranjit Kaur in a safe zone at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi.

All three boxers were shifted to the new location after a surge in cases at the national camp earlier this week, where 21 boxers and head coach Mohammad Ali Qamar and women’s boxing high-performance director Raffaele Bergamasco had tested COVID-positive.

Positive COVID-19 cases had earlier forced the authorities to call off a training camp and competition in Serbia, and this latest incident has further hampered preparations for Tokyo 2020.

Tokyo-bound shooters test positive

The boxers were not the only ones to be hit by the virus as three unnamed Olympics-bound Indian shooters had tested COVID-positive earlier this week, of which one has recovered.

“Considering the circumstances we cannot rule out that others will not catch the virus. We have decided to cancel the national camp because of the rising cases,” National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh told The Tribune.

The two COVID-positive shooters are believed to be a rifle shooter and a pistol shooter, according to a media report.

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has been planning a preparatory camp in Croatia ahead of the next ISSF World Cup in June.

For now, the Tokyo Olympics shooting team and the reserves have been kept in separate groups to prevent exposure.