In a major development, the athletes stationed at the National Institute of Sports, Patiala and National Centre of Excellence, Bengaluru, have started receiving the vaccinations for Covid-19. The men’s hockey squad, including 39 players and four staff, received the first dose of the vaccine.
The Covid-19 situation is not getting any better, but the 2021 Tokyo Olympics is getting closer at the same time. However, Union Sports minister Kiren Rijiju has already assured that the athletes would be given ‘extra care’ ahead of the Games.
The impact was immediate as the athletes stationed at the National Institute of Sports, Patiala and National Centre of Excellence, Bengaluru, have started receiving the vaccinations for Covid-19. As per reports, most of them, including the men’s hockey team that included 39 players and four staff and javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, got their first jabs on April 29 and April 30.
On the other hand, the athletes that have qualified for the Olympics or set to qualify and stationed at SAI centres across the country, have been administered the dose. Meanwhile, the athletes who are currently at the National Sports Institute of Sports, Patiala, have also been vaccinated, on April 30.
"Almost all of them got vaccinated. The remaining will be inoculated soon. A few weightlifters are the exception as one of them left for the USA for training while others have applied for visas," said a source, from NIS, Patiala.
26-year old weightlifter Mirabai Chanu will complete her training ahead of the Olympics, in St. Louis, USA and fly to Tokyo directly from there. The IWF (Indian Weightlifting Federation) has assured that she would be vaccinated before leaving for the USA.
However, Boxers who participated at the Governer’s Cup in St Petersburg, Russia and are quarantining in Patiala have not been vaccinated but will get the jabs later this month.
"They are serving a mandatory quarantine period as per the SAI's standard operating procedures. As a precautionary measure, they will be vaccinated later this month," the source added.