Sports minister Kiren Rijuju on Sunday said that boxing will play a huge role in helping India break into the Top-10 nation in medal tally at the Tokyo Olympics, which has been postponed to 2021 during the coronavirus pandemic that has brought the world to a halt. Also Read - Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Prospect of IPL Happening This Year, Says Can’t Risk Health For a Sports Event
Rijuju said this during an online video interactive session with India’s elite boxers of the country, likely to represent the nation at the Olympics, next year at Tokyo. Also Read - Offensive Tokyo Olympics Parody Logo Pulled From Website After Controversy
Rijiju also informed that the government is planning to allow elite athletes to resume their training at the earliest in order to keep them ready for future competitions. Also Read - Sports Activities Will be Conducted, But no Use of Gyms And Pools: Kiren Rijiju
“I have discussions with my officers. We are planning out a way to start functioning as soon as possible. I thought, first of all, we should allow practice for the players who have qualified for the Olympics and who will be participating in the qualifiers or important championships. We can’t open all the coaching centres, so we will allow only for elite athletes. Junior camps have to wait for some time as safety will be priority,” he concluded.
Indian boxers have already secured a record nine qualification quotas at Tokyo Olympics and will be fighting for four more places in the upcoming qualification tournaments.
He further interacted with the boxers to know their situation during the lockdown and training schedules said Asian Games gold medallist Vikas Krishnan.
“Whatever we have achieved today, credit goes to the coaches, federation and the government. It”s really impressive and motivating to interact with you sir (Rijiju). If we keep getting support from the government, we will definitely win Olympic medals, World Championship medals,” Krishnan said.
A couple of days back, Rijuju interacted with elite kabaddi players and coaches via video conference and said that he would look to push the sport in the Olympics in the future.