While welcoming the new dates, the Indian coaches pointed out that planning in the coming months will be key in the build-up to the Games.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s confirmation that the Tokyo Olympics will now take place from July 23 to August 8 next year received a warm welcome from Indian coaches.
After announcing postponement for the first time in the Olympics’ 124-year-old history last week, the new dates given by the IOC and local Organising Committee offers athletes clarity and plenty of time to prepare for the Games next year.
With plenty of Indian athletes already Tokyo-bound, here are the initial reactions of some of the coaches to the new dates for the Olympics.
"She is out of injury now. She had only started training when the coronavirus stopped everything, and she just gets some time to train on the terrain in the morning and evening. As far as her chances are considered, it is very tough,” gymnast Dipa Karmakar’s coach Bishweshwar Nandi told the Olympic Channel.
“We will only get two World Cups for her to qualify. She isn’t getting time to get into the zone yet and the qualification events' date will further clear the picture. We hope to get her into the Olympics and will give our 100 per cent. I think she needs five months of continuous training to get back into form," he added.
“It's great to get some clarity about the new starting date for the Tokyo Olympic Games. This allows us to begin the planning process to be ready for July next year. In the meantime, we are looking forward to getting through this current tough period and hope to be back out on the training field as soon as possible,” the Indian men's hockey coach Graham Reid said in a statement to Hockey India.
“It's good we have certainty when the Olympics will be held and we can work towards that. We are all on the same campus and available for each other in these hard times, a new date for the Olympics is good news for all of us. But for now, we are living by the day, staying strong mentally and physically and waiting eagerly to get back to our normal routine. We are prepared to hit the reset button,” the Indian women's hockey coach Sjoerd Marijne said.
“We need to keep our shooter morale high. We need to work on our physical fitness and mostly on mental fitness because most of us are seasoned and understand the demands and can tackle this very well. But the youngsters will need to be looked after properly. We need to train properly.” India’s national pistol shooting coach Jaspal Rana insisted when he spoke to the Olympic Channel.
“Happy to hear the dates. It's like a rewind button pressed for one year. We can plan all the calendar of events the same way with the run-up to 2021,” an enthused Rakesh Manpat, coach of Indian shooter Apurvi Chandela, told the Olympic Channel.