New Delhi: Even as the country remains under lockdown to combat the coronavirus, the Sports Authority of India and the Sports Ministry have ensured that athletes, especially those bound for Olympics in 2021, do not lose out on their training and remain mentally focussed.
After the nationwide lockdown commenced on March 23, the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) Secretariat started mapping the training requirements of not just the TOPS athletes but also the core probables for Tokyo 2020.
A total of 107 athletes (including para-athletes) were mapped for their requirements towards their training at home. The equipment requirements of all athletes were collected and mapped according to SAI regional centres.
Around 43 requests were received from the athletes, out of which, half of the demands have been fulfilled with the help of SAI Regional Centres, state governments and NGOs.
This is an ongoing process as it depends on the local restrictions (some of the demands pertain to red zones of COVID-19 infection). As and when the situation improves, attempts will be made for fulfilling the same.
So far, wrestler Bajrang Punia has been provided with training mats and supplements.
Wrestler Sunil has also been provided supplements.
10m Air Pistol and Air Rifle Shooters like Saurabh Chaudhary, Manu Bhaker, Divyansh Panwar and Yashaswni Deswal have been provided with air pellets, templates and paper targets for their training at home.
Shooter Sanjeev Rajput has been provided a gym bicycle and a nutritionist (consulting online).
Boxers Lovelina, Simranjeet and Ashish have been provided with physical training equipment like dumbbells, weights, barbell rods, etc.
Track and field para-athlete Jayanti Behra has been provided exercise bikes for in-house training.