Athletics Federation of India to prepare new domestic calendar

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown off several well-laid plans with most sporting events being postponed or cancelled.

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) confirmed on Sunday that they will make a new calendar for domestic competitions and appropriate training schedules for senior athletes after the COVID-19 pandemic left the current season in disarray.

The competition schedule will be decided over the next few days by the AFI’s Planning Committee after discussions with coaches and foreign experts.

“Under the circumstances and postponement of the Olympic Games, the complete domestic calendar of the year 2020 needs to be changed, especially the senior competitions,” AFI President Adille J Sumariwalla was quoted in a statement by the Press Trust of India news agency.

“Besides competitions, we have also asked coaches to start reworking their training programs.”

The Indian Grand Prix athletics meet, earlier scheduled in April, had a lot of speculation on whether it should be held behind closed doors before a national lockdown necessitated its cancellation.

Javelin thrower Shivpal Singh earlier qualified for his maiden Olympics
Javelin thrower Shivpal Singh earlier qualified for his maiden OlympicsJavelin thrower Shivpal Singh earlier qualified for his maiden Olympics

National Games set to go ahead as planned

Meanwhile, the 36th edition of the National Games is set to be held as per schedule in October, with the organisers confident that the situation will improve by then.

“There is no change in the National Games. It will go ahead as planned,” Indian Olympic Association (IOA) secretary-general Rajeev Mehta told The New Indian Express.

However, the nationwide lockdown has meant that the construction of the requisite infrastructure has slowed down.

“At the moment, about 85 per cent of the work has been completed. The swimming pool and the squash court needs work,” revealed Gurudatta Bhakta, the secretary-general for the Goa Olympic Association, the venue for the National Games.

“Only after the lockdown is over, and then we have to meet the government, can we really know what exactly the status is,” he added.

The National Games are scheduled to be held from October 20 to November 4, 2020 in the state of Goa.

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