With Tokyo 2020 now officially set for July 23, 2021, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has encouraged the country’s National Sports Federations (NSF) to begin preparations in earnest.
“All Olympic sports NSFs are requested to please start their draft planning structure for preparation for Tokyo 2021 and for Paris 2024,” IOA president Narinder Batra, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee, said in a press release.
Earlier, the IOA had expressed satisfaction at the news of the postponement, with the governing body’s secretary-general Rajeev Mehta stating, “IOA along with the NSFs welcome and support the new dates for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”
Mehta also requested the NSFs to produce their respective athletes’ revised Tokyo 2020 preparation calendars.
More than 70 Indian athletes, including those from the men's and women's hockey teams, have qualified or booked a quota for Tokyo 2020.
No documents? No problem
Since 2015, the IOA has been assisting its member National Sports Federations and State Olympic Associations (SOAs) financially, with an initial handout of Rs 3 lakhs that was later increased to six lakhs.
The IOA has continued to provide this financial support for the 2018-19 financial year to its NSFs and SOAs that have submitted the required documents.
However, as part of the efforts to spur on the NSFs in their 2021 preparations and beyond, and in light of the extraordinary circumstances created by the pandemic, the IOC is also poised to release the grants even to those members that are yet to submit the required documents.
Clarifying the move in an official statement, Batra said, “It has been observed that quite a few NSFs/SOAs have yet not submitted their required documents for releasing the grant.”
“As the whole country is in lock-down due to the outbreak of COVID-19, in IOA we understand that the submission of the required documents will take time from your end.”