Coronavirus divides athletes ahead of Tokyo Olympics 2020
Indian badminton stars Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap were critical of the IOC's decision to go ahead with the Tokyo Olympics despite the coronavirus scare.
At a time when the world is fighting the deadly COVID-19 the decision of International Olympic Committee (IOC) to go ahead with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been drawing flak across the sporting spectrum, with Indian ace shuttler Parupalli Kashyap latest to join the bandwagon.
IOC is encouraging us to continue training .. and how ? Where ? Ur joking right ????????????????♂️ https://t.co/xQIY7LEuoK— Parupalli Kashyap (@parupallik) March 18, 2020
The 2014 Commonwealth Games Champion took to Twitter to show his disapproval by terming the IOC communique as a joke. He wrote in his tweet, “IOC is encouraging us to continue training. And how? Where? Ur joking right.”
The deadline for the Olympic qualification for Badminton is until April 28th, where the top 16-ranked players would make it for the Tokyo Games (if and when it happens). Calls were made by Indian shuttlers Parupalli Kashyap to freeze the badminton rankings and consider the players' sentiments.
“See, right now we are not training till March 31 because the Academies are closed because of the Corona Virus threat. So, when the BWF eventually takes a call on the fresh guidelines, they have to take into a lot of factors before finding a way out to be of help to the players,” said Kashyap in an interview to Sportstar.
Kashyap is in self-isolation following a first-round exit from the All England Badminton Championships held in Birmingham. Meanwhile, Saina Nehwal, former world number One, hit out at the tournament organisers for giving priority to the financial aspect, quote tweeting Danish Badminton player Mads Cornard-Petersen who had echoed similar views.
Only thing I can think of is that rather than the players welfare n feelings , financial reasons were given more importance. Otherwise there was no other reason for the #AllEnglandOpen2020 to go on last week .. #QuarantineLife https://t.co/yajkj7M7VX— Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) March 18, 2020
Matthew Pinsent, four-time Olympic rowing Champion earlier called for the cancellation of the games alleging IOC President Thomas Bach, to be “tone deaf”.
I’m sorry Mr Bach but this is tone deaf. The instinct to keep safe (not to mention obey govt instructions to lock down) is not compatible with athlete training, travel and focus that a looming Olympics demands of athletes, spectators organisers etc Keep them safe. Call it off. https://t.co/nKnEEiVku1— Matthew Pinsent (@matthewcpinsent) March 18, 2020
Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga and the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe denied halting preparations for the mega event which is scheduled to take place from July 24th to August 9th 2020. “Even if Japan can contain the coronavirus outbreak, the Summer Olympic Games would not make sense if other countries cannot send their athletes, Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, said on Wednesday.