Top badminton stars welcome IOC decision

Chief national coach Pullela Gopichand too welcomed the announcement.

By Author  |  Published: 24th Mar 2020  11:24 pm
IOC decision
File Photo: P V Sindhu

Hyderabad: Top badminton players welcomed the decision of the the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the Tokyo Olympics, which were scheduled to start from July 24 an continue till August 9, by a year because of the novel coronavirus scare.

Rio Olympics silver medallist P V Sindhu hailed the decision. “Now health is more important. It is important to take care of ourselves as it is getting worse. We are staying at home and there is no practice whatsoever. It is safe to be at home. Yes we waited for four years for the Olympics but under the present circumstances it can’t be held now. If you see the situation we feel oh my god. Otherwise it is a good decision to postpone as there was a risk for the players. Now we will have time to prepare for next year’s Olympics,” she said while talking to Telangana Today.

Ever since her return from the All England Championship, Sindhu has been in self-isolation. With all stadiums and academies closed, she has been doing light training and running. “She goes for a run early in the morning n the colony when there is less public movement. We can’t take risks,” Sindhu’s father P V Ramana said.

Chief national coach Pullela Gopichand too welcomed the announcement. “It would not have been fair on the players if the Games had been held in July given the present situation. The players could never have focused on the Olympics. It is a wise decision to postpone it for a year.”

Gopichand, however, said he was not sure what the Badminton World Federation’s take was on the qualification for the Olympics. “We have to wait and see.”

B Sai Praneeth, the other singles player to qualify for the Olympics said the postponement was an expected decision. “The situation is bad and we can’t play in these conditions. We have to see what will be the next move of BWF, particularly on the qualification route to the Olympics.”

Chirag Shetty, who too had booked a berth for the Tokyo Olympics in the men’s doubles competition along with partner Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, said the decision was on expected lines. “It is a move which will be welcomed by most participants. It was inevitable,” he said.

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