India’s top-ranked paddler Sathiyan Gnanasekaran says now is not the right time to make a call on the future of Tokyo Olympics even as the clamour for postponing the games keeps growing by the day in wake of coronavirus pandemic. Also Read - People Will Get Sufficient Time Before Lockdown is Imposed: Maharashtra Minister
Several national federations and athletes have asked International Olympic Committee to push back the quadrennial event making the health of both participants and general public top priority. Also Read - Migrant Exodus 2.0? Huge Crowds at Mumbai, Delhi Railway Stations Amid Lockdown Scare
“I think its too early to decide on that. We will have to wait and see,” Sathiyan told IANS. “If things don’t improve, there is a high chance it might get postponed as players health is definitely the priority. Also Read - BREAKING: Bhopal Under Corona Curfew Until April 19. Check What's Allowed, What's Not
Several global events including the likes of 2020 Euro Championships, Copa America, Olympic qualifiers, shooting world cup among others have either been postponed or rescheduled to mitigate the threat the coronavirus pandemic poses.
So far, over 3,00,000 have contracted the virus with more than 13,000 dead.
Gnanasekaran, who recently returned home from Hungarian Open with a silver medal in men’s doubles alongside Achanta Sharath Kamal, says he will abide by what IOC says. “As an athlete I am ready to abide by whatever IOC decides,” the 27-year-old said.
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has suspended all events till the end of April including Asian Olympic qualifiers in Bangkok.
The cancellation of qualifiers has led to athletes complaining lack of opportunities and options to train and seal their passage for the Summer Games.
“Definitely there is uncertainty and a lot of tournaments are cancelled. (We are) not being able to train fully as well. But I can understand as its a world pandemic and health should be the priority,” Sathiyan said.
Sathiyan and Kamal though, should qualify on the basis of their rankings.