Indian badminton coach Pullela Gopichand opines that it will be better if IOC postpones the Tokyo Olympics owing to the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic around the World. He shared that players need exposure tournaments before the Olympics to prepare, something which is not possible in these dire times.
As COVID 19 takes over the World bringing it to a grinding stop a very important question that remains to be addressed is, will the Tokyo Olympic Games go as scheduled? Indian badminton coach Pullela Gopichand feels that it will be better if the games are postponed especially now as the World gears up to fight the pandemic.
Gopichand pointed out that sportspersons need to participate in exposure tournaments, friendly games before walking out on the grand stage. Moreover, the qualifications for the majority of sports are yet to take place which is yet another reason to do away with the games for good.
“Olympics should be postponed," Gopichand told TOI. "If the Olympics happen as per schedule, as of today people should be participating in tournaments. They should be going for exposure tournaments and planning their schedule. It's not that Olympics happen in July and people start training on June 20.
"With several travel restrictions, ban on gatherings, gyms being closed, it's a worldwide problem. Exposure tournaments, friendlies, players seeking qualification are all important as players look to the peak. In an atmosphere when everything is uncertain, it will be unfair to hold the Games in July. If IOC goes ahead with the Olympics, I will take my team."
Gopichand, who has trained players for three consecutive Olympics and won two medals, shared his concern about how sportspersons will train in times when social distancing is equal to the elixir. Gopi feels that a drastic change in the situation is not expected soon given how things are.
"I will go back to what Abhinav Bindra said. 'Olympics is not every four years but it is every day'. Basically, we train every day. But in a scenario where people are quarantined, how will you train? A swimmer or a boxer can't train alone. I don't see things changing after two weeks as well. It is important we listen to WHO. I feel it is difficult to imagine the Olympics being held in July," he said.