IOA tells athletes to be ready for Olympic qualification

The coronavirus pandemic may have stopped them currently but the IOA wants athletes ready for postponed date.

By Olympic Channel Writer ·

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has asked its sports federations to plan schedules for their athletes in preparation for a delayed date for qualifying events for the Tokyo Olympics.

IOA president Narinder Batra wrote a letter on Saturday to the National Sports Federations (NSF’s) where he seemed confident of the Tokyo Olympics’ postponed qualifying tournaments to be conducted eventually, following a conference call with his International Olympic Committee (IOC) counterpart Thomas Bach.

“The qualification events which were postponed will happen again at revised dates once this virus issue is resolved. Draft tentative planning for that. Please share details of all the qualification events yet to happen in your sport,” he wrote in the letter.

The IOA president also requested the current location of various athletes and their training schedules ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, which has now been deferred.

IOA president Narinder Batra has already set his sight on Olympic 2024

Contract extension on the cards

Another pressing matter at hand was the contracts for foreign coaches of various sports, which were set to end in August this year once the Tokyo Olympics concluded, if it had all gone to plan.

With the postponement of the Games, these coaches look set to receive an extension until at least the Tokyo Olympics end, something that Narinder Batra addressed in his letter.

“We now need to plan for: extension of contracts for HPD (High Performance Director), coaches, support staff etc. till end of 2021 as many such contracts are ending in 2020, the process needs to start as soon as possible,” he added.

India had sent a 117-strong contingent for Rio 2016 and with the IOC confirming that athletes that have already qualified will keep their slots for the Tokyo Olympics, regardless of its postponement, the nation only needs around 40 more athletes to exceed that number.