The Tokyo Paralympics has been postponed to August 24-September 5, 2021.
The postponement of the Tokyo Paralympics to 2021 has been received positively by the concerned community in India. The Paralympic Committee of India President Deepa Malik has expressed her views on the postponement. She won the silver medal in shot put in the 2016 edition of the Games. She is also the first Indian woman to secure a medal at the Paralympics.
Her optimistic outlook means that she views this situation as a year-long wait rather than the complete cancellation of the revered tournament. Speaking to IANS, Malik mentioned, “If it was cancelled then there would have been an eight-year gap in any athlete’s career.”
She further continued, “Especially those who missed (a medal in the previous Paralympics) by centimeters and we had two or three athletes who finished fourth and then went on to win medals at the following World Championships.”
“If they missed out on a medal in 2016, they will still be prospects four years later but eight years later in severe disability categories (is too long). That’s almost a decade.”
Additionally, she also described this move as, “best news I have ever heard in my sports career.”
The PCI has been put in a spot of bothering by a couple of other developments though. The 19th National Para-Athletics Championships were called off by them due to the COVID-19 outbreak all across the country.
Moreover, the respective state-level competitions had to be abandoned due to the same. This has created financial trouble for the athletes who rely on these events for their incomes.
Deepa Malik emphasized on this as she stated, “Unfortunately even last year, the athletes did not get a national event to participate in under the previous setup. Since the nationals didn’t happen, there were no cash awards.”
She added, “They are a huge support for the athletes. This year also we had to call off the nationals. So for two years now my athletes have not got a national championship to participate in. I wish it had happened last year, I don’t know why it didn’t happen.”
Furthermore, she explained the attempts that the committee put behind conducting the competitions this year.
Malik observed, “But this year we made a very honest effort to hold the nationals. We were also trying to make it an IPC (International Paralympic Committee) approved qualifier and thus give the athletes a chance to qualify for the Paralympics.
“Unfortunately all of that did not happen because of this,” she concluded.
Secondly, the Union Sports Ministry’s recognition of the Paralympic Committee of India had ensued gloomy times for the association.
However, they managed to rectify the situation as a new committee headed by Deepa Malik was formally consented by the Delhi High Court. Accordingly, it was on course to regain recognition but the pandemic has acted as an obstacle in the proceedings.
Malik raked of positivity and buoyancy as she put out a clear message about the current situation as an individual and as the head of the PCI too. The 49-year-old asserted, “I’m keeping my fingers crossed, I’m a very optimistic person, that is what has brought me here till now. I never give up hope and as the leader of the clan I cannot give up hope.”
Moreover, she remarked, “I definitely want my athletes to hope and continue their fitness regime in whatever way they can. I am sure this too shall pass and we will reach normalcy.”
The Tokyo Paralympics has been postponed to August 24-September 5, 2021. There are certain logistical re-arrangements and re-scheduling that would have to be made with respect to that.
The coveted sportswoman and now an administrator seemed to rely on the instructions of the world health-governing bodies for that.
She opined, “That discussion hasn’t happened as of now because the situation all around the world remains the same. I guess until a WHO advisory comes out and people are allowed to travel, it remains a wait-and-watch situation.”