Weightlifting coach Vijay Sharma is happy that North Korea has withdrawn from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, which gives the Indian contingent a bright chance of winning a medal at the Games. Mirabai Chanu, who is set to feature in the 49kg category at the Games, seems to gain most from the situation.
With the Tokyo Olympics already pushed back by a year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the re-scheduled event is also in jeopardy given the recent surge in the number of positive cases. With months left for the Games to kick-start, the Indian government is trying its level best to vaccinate the athletes before they fly to Tokyo.
Meanwhile, North Korea has already decided to skip the Games owing to health concerns, with the nation’s Olympic committee taking the drastic step to protect its athletes during the global health crisis. India’s weightlifting coach Vijay Sharma is happy that the Koreans opted out of the mega-event, something which gives the Indian contingent a bright chance of winning a medal.
“We are happy to hear this news about North Korea withdrawing from the Olympics. But, honestly our focus was on competing with China. At the end of the day, individual performance is most important and we will give our best in the Asian Championship next week,” said Vijay Sharma, to PTI.
Former world champion and placed 4th in the women’s 49kg Tokyo Games qualifying rankings, Mirabai Chanu would gain the most from the latest developments. Ri Sing Gum of North Korea had the better of the Indian to claim a Bronze medal at the 2019 World Championships. So, the withdrawal of the Asian nation would actually help India’s cause at the Games.