Olympic-bound rowers Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh have decided to cancel their five-week exposure trip to Portugal due to a mandatory two-week hard quarantine period they had to serve upon reaching the European country.
The Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) had last week sanctioned Rs 21 lakh for their training at Portugal's Pocinho High Performance Centre ahead of Tokyo Olympic Games. However the rowers deciding against travelling as they did not want to lose crucial practice time because of the quarantine rule.
"We have to undergo a mandatory two-week hard quarantine on arrival in Portugal, so we had to cancel the exposure tour. The Olympics is less than two months and we can't afford to lose practice," the 25-year-old Jat told PTI.
"We are disappointed, but we can't do anything as it is due to the pandemic," he said from his training base in Army Sports Institute in Pune. Jat and Singh had qualified for the Olympics in men's lightweight double sculls event after finishing second in the final race of the Asia/Oceania Continental Qualifying Regatta in Tokyo earlier this month.
Jat said they will now have to compete in Tokyo Olympics without much international exposure. "Some of the top rowers of the world come to train at that center in Portugal and we would have certainly benefitted. But now, we have to train here at the Army Rowing Node."