The Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) on Wednesday welcomed the postponement of Tokyo Olympics to 2021, calling it a “big relief” for para athletes who were in a dilemma over their preparation.
“PCI will also now be in a better position of planning the next step once this current lockdown in India in the wake of COVID-19 is finally lifted,” PCI secretary general Gursharan Singh said. President Deepa Malik had earlier said that “health of the athletes will always be our top priority”. The decision on Tokyo 2020 was made on Tuesday evening by the IOC Executive Board and Japanese government with the full support of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) which was also present at the meeting.
“Postponing the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games as a result of global COVID-19 outbreak is absolutely the right thing to do. The health and well being of human life must always be our number one priority and staging a sporting event of any kind during this pandemic is simply not possible,” read a statement from IPC.
Top Indian para athletes, including World champion javelin thrower Sandeep Chaudhary, too welcomed the decision saying that the health of the athletes is the number one priority.
“Though we have been training for the last four years for this summer’s Games but the recent developments in regard to the COVID-19 outbreak has made it necessary to make a decision like this. “There are so many athletes who are not able to train at this difficult time, and there should be a fair competition at the biggest Games – the Olympics or the Paralympics,” said Chaudhary.