India's Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes diagnosed with COVID-19
India is grappling with the second wave of COVID-19 cases and several of the athletes who have been waiting for the Tokyo Olympics have tested positive.
The worst fears of the sporting world have come true over the past couple of weeks. It was thought that the Covid wave was dying down and that sports events would be able to resume with reasonable restrictions and precautions. Given the advent of the second wave, there are certain athletes on their way to Tokyo Olympics who have contracted the Covid virus.
India's top golfer is also looking to take part in his second Olympic event this year. His form was beginning to show some signs of a return as he was placed 5th at the Valero Texas Open. However, disaster struck on Saturday when he received his positive result after a round of testing that effectively ruled him out of certain tournaments on the PGA tour due to his quarantine period. All is not lost for Anirban Lahiri as he is aiming to be back in April for the Wells Fargo event and the subsequent Byron Nelson tournament.
He has been touted to bring back a medal this time around at the Olympics. However, he contracted the virus while staying at the SAI centre in Bangalore last week. The current Asian Games gold medallist has been in quarantine for the past week and has reported a headache and fever as part of his symptoms.
The National record walker holder who timed 1 hour 28 minutes and 45 seconds at the National Championships held earlier this year also tested positive at the SAI centre in Bangalore. She has undergone quarantine as a result of her test results. Priyanka Goswami qualified for the Olympics by virtue of her performance and timings in the National Championships.
Shooting is one of India's best bets at the Olympics this year with several high-profile athletes headed to Tokyo. Rifle shooter Deepak Kumar tested positive last year in April. He was one of the first high profile athletes to test positive in India given that Covid had not spread rampantly back then. His main event is the 10-metre air rifle event, and he secured an Olympic quota in the Asian Championships held in Doha.
Several athletes have tested positive for Covid in New Delhi and amongst these are boxer Simranjit Kaur, and the coach, Mohammed Ali Qamar. This has resulted in the Simranjit being shifted to the JMU stadium while other athletes have either been quarantined or asked to return home if negative. Simranjit Kaur will be taking part in the 60kg event at the Olympics this year and secured her place at the Olympics in the Asian qualifiers in 2020.
Several athletes who have come in contact with those who tested positive have all been shifted to other stadiums or have been quarantined with regular testing. One must be mindful that sports camps and centre have several athletes training for different events and it can be disastrous if adequate precautions are not taken. Having said this, everything must be done to ensure that the safety of the athletes is given utmost priority over the next few months.