Sporting Spirit: Wushu championship shows that sports is trying its best to adapt to a new normal

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May 7, 2020 1:15 AM

The lockdown has added significant impetus, however, to e-sports or online sports, which are fast becoming a mainstream activity.

An Indian Express report last week highlighted that Maharashtra held its first-ever online Wushu state championship. (Credit:IE)An Indian Express report last week highlighted that Maharashtra held its first-ever online Wushu state championship. (Credit:IE)

Spectator sports face an existential challenge from lockdowns, but sporting bodies seem to be adapting to the new normal. An Indian Express report last week highlighted that Maharashtra held its first-ever online Wushu state championship. Jammu & Kashmir followed suit, hosting a state-level event from May 3-5, and now a national event is planned for May 25-28.

While performance by participants has been cut down to 30 seconds from the usual 1 minute-20 seconds routine, states are at least making an effort to get sports back to near-normal. Not just Wushu, Tai Chi is also getting followers online.

The trend may be restricted to sports like chess—a Roger Federer certainly cannot joust with a Rafael Nadal online—but it is still an improvement from not having sporting events at all.

Such events also mean that appreciation for the sport may increase over time. People are learning yoga and other activities from digital tutorials. The lockdown has added significant impetus, however, to e-sports or online sports, which are fast becoming a mainstream activity.

From online NASCAR to Formula 1, sports federations are working hard to maintain fan interest. While this is a bit difficult using the current set of technology, one can expect an explosion of gaming and sports tech to make experiences most immersive.

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