Tokyo-bound Indian gymnast Pranati Nayak has been cleared to practice at the SAI centre in Kolkata amidst the lockdown in the state. Special arrangements have been made for her, with her being provided a masseur and a physiotherapist so she’s in the best shape when the Tokyo Olympics starts.
Indian gymnast Pranati Nayak gained qualification to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics by securing the Asian continental quota for the Games following the cancellation of the 9th Senior Asian Championships due to the pandemic. She was a reserve till then behind Sri-Lanka’s Elpitiya Badalge Dona Milka Geh, but now both will be a part of the meet.
However, with the second Covid-19 wave creating a massacre in India, most of the sports facilities in India are shut down. Many Tokyo-bound athletes are struggling to prepare themselves for the mega-event and Pranati Nayak, who trains at the SAI (Sports Authority of India) centre, in Kolkata, is not an exception.
Nayak hardly trained for a couple of weeks last year when the SAI centre was open, only to see it become non-operational with the onset of the second Covid-19 wave. But, as per the latest reports, the SAI has granted special permission for her to train at their campus in spite of the heavy lockdown imposed in the state.
"I am the only athlete now staying in the hostel inside the campus. I have been provided with a masseur and my physiotherapist madam is also here along with my coach Lakhan Sharma," said Pranati Nayak, on Tuesday, to TOI.
With no option to train during the lockdown, the gymnast went back to her native place – Midnapore - last year, from where she attended online sessions. However, she came back to the city last December, stayed at her relatives’ places and resumed practice at various clubs arranged by her coach.
"I returned to the city last December and stayed at different relatives' places then. Then I started training at various local clubs as arranged by sir (coach). I am now back to my usual 46-47 kg weight and feeling quite fresh," she added