The IOC decided to postpone the Olympics to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The news of the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 by a year may have disappointed many but it has become a boon for India internationals Neeraj Chopra and Narsingh Yadav. It was announced on Tuesday(24th March 2020) that the 32nd instalment of the quadrennial event is being pushed further to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Neeraj and Narsingh have been struggling in their career for all the different reasons and these extra 12 months will give them ample time to get ready for the event.
Neeraj Chopra: We should look at this positively as it would allow us a year more to plan & train
The Javelin thrower missed the entire 2019 due to his elbow injury and only qualified for Tokyo through his throw of 87.86m at the ACNE League in South Africa, earlier this year. Following that, he had gone to Turkey to train but had to come back home due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Since then, he has been in self-isolation at the NIS, Patiala.
Considering the drought of competitive action for Neeraj, the thrower understands that he would have been a bit underprepared should the Olympics were to proceed as scheduled and he’s relieved that now he has more time.
“Health is the top priority and I completely support the postponement. We athletes knew it (postponement of the Olympics) was inevitable and that’s why it doesn’t come as a shock to me,” Neeraj told TOI.
“While we were looking forward to Tokyo 2020, the environment wouldn’t have been appropriate for the event to be celebrated the way it should be. I would say we should look at this positively as it would allow us a year more to plan and train for the Olympics, which is the biggest sporting event for many athletes. It totally works for me.”
Narsingh Yadav: Not the way I would have liked to start dreaming about the Olympics again
While Narsingh Yadav was handed a four-year ban for failing a dope test just a day before the Rio Olympics 2016, he will now be eligible for Tokyo Olympics 2021. The ban will be lifted in July and will allow him to contest for a place.
“This is definitely not the way I would have liked to start dreaming about the Olympics again. Covid-19 has caused enormous pain to everyone around the world and our immediate aim is to fight the virus. But now that the opportunity has arisen, I would like to make the most of it,” the wrestler told the Times of India.