If the Coronavirus goes on to postpone the Tokyo Olympics scheduled in July this year, it will hit yet another prominent sporting event after it delayed the Indian Premier League to April 15 from the scheduled March 29 start.
Coronavirus impact on India and Indian sports is unrelenting. India’s star shuttler PV Sindhu, who has self quarantined herself after returning from Birmingham where she featured in the All England Open. National badminton coach Pullela Gopichand has also decided to shut down his academy in Hyderabad due to the Coronavirus outbreak in Telangana. Closure of the SAI-Gopichand national badminton academy has raised concerns about Sindhu’s training before the Tokyo Olympics which is scheduled to take place in July this year.
The SAI- Gopichand academy is also the national badminton training centre for Indian shuttlers. Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju had said that the national shuttlers who are destined for the Olympics should be allowed to train at the facility. However, the minister had said that the best possible solution at the present time would be to restrict the training facility for the shuttlers who have their candidature confirmed for the Tokyo Olympics. India is likely to have three more shuttlers with confirmed places for the Tokyo Olympics in form of Sai Praneeth in men’s singles while the duo of Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty can also make the cut.
Pullela Gopichand has also suggested that the upcoming Tokyo Olympics should be postponed owing to the coronavirus outbreak across the world. He said that the event is not too far ahead and hence, the preparations for it should start just now. As the coronavirus outbreak has hurt Japan badly, it will also affect the preparations for the Olympic and hence it should be postponed. The International Olympic Committee had shown expectations that the upcoming Olympics will commence on the pre-scheduled dates.
If the Coronavirus goes on to postpone the Tokyo Olympics scheduled in July this year, it will hit yet another prominent sporting event after it delayed the Indian Premier League to April 15 from the scheduled March 29 start. Countries across the world are putting travel restrictions and it is likely that it could affect the preparations for the Tokyo Olympics. Japan has seen a massive number of Coronavirus cases and the foreign travellers entry into Japan has slumped by 58 per cent as per a report in the Nikkei Asian Review.
There is a long list of sports stars who have been affected by the highly infectious Coronavirus across the world. The Covid-19, which has now been declared a pandemic by the WHO has affected sportspersons across different sports. English Football Club manager Mikel Arteta, 19-year-old Chelsea footballer Callum Hudson-Odoi, NBA stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell all have tested positive for the Coronavirus. New Zealand cricketer Lockie Ferguson has also shown symptoms of Coronavirus and was put under quarantine on March 14.