Chirag Shetty, Sharath Kamal back decision to postpone Tokyo Olympics

The Indian table tennis ace also believes that pushing the Olympic Games back will aid the preparation of the athletes.

By Andre Pitts and Naveen Peter ·

With the COVID-19 outbreak bringing the world to a standstill, Indian athletes backed Tuesday's decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics Games 2020.

Scheduled to be held from 24 July-9 August 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee confirmed the decision to postpone the Games and to reschedule ‘to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021.’

Chirag Shetty felt that postponing Tokyo 2020 was the correct decision given the current global scenario

Reactions from Indian athletes

“Considering the current situation that’s happening, the right decision has been taken,” Indian badminton player and 2018 Commonwealth gold medallist Chirag Shetty told the Olympic Channel. “There are a lot of problems for all the stakeholders and everyone involved in the Olympics, but it was the right decision to take.”

Her sentiments were echoed by veteran Indian table tennis player Achanta Sharath Kamal, who recently won the ITTF Challenge Plus Oman Open in Muscat.

“It’s better for the world,” he said. “As athletes, we are always thinking about how everything would have been because there’s not much chance for social distancing at the Olympic village.

“So, I think from that way it’s safe for the players but as athletes who have been preparing for the past two years for this event and for those who have put in a lot of hard work, it’s a little bit difficult,” he added.

Meanwhile, javelin thrower Shivpal Singh, who qualified for his maiden Olympic Games earlier this month, said, "It's tough, I was never this fit in my life. By God's grace, I am my fittest now and now we have to wait a year."

Postponement will aid preparations

However, Indian table tennis ace Achanta Sharath Kamal believes that this decision will aid the preparation of all athletes.

“Hypothetically, if the situation got better in two months time and we went ahead with the Olympics, the preparations would have been very bad for us,” Achanta Sharath Kamal pointed out. 

“Staying at home for two months and then going for the tournament isn’t ideal. So this way, mentally you get more time to prepare and be in the zone,” he asserted.

The IOC, Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Japanese and Tokyo metropolitan governments along with other relevant institutions have set the summer of 2021 as the latest deadline for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games.

The announcement came 122 days before the planned Opening Ceremony at the newly-built National Stadium in the Japanese capital.

While the Olympic Games have previously been cancelled during wartime, this is the first postponement of a Games.