A Feeling Of Emptiness: Vinesh Phogat On Postponement Of Tokyo 2020

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The IOC along with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have officially announced that the Olympic games cannot take place amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Indian athletes from various sports have welcomed the decision of postponing the Tokyo games, however a few are also heartbroken.

Wrestler Vinesh Phogat seems to be a little upset by the news. When asked was postponing the big event the right thing to do, Phogat  said, “In that sense, the decision is understandable and a fair one too. I have been able to train because there is a facility in my house. But there are so many who aren’t able to do it, athletes from India as well as other countries.”

Vinesh has already qualified for the Games after finishing on the podium at last year’s World Wrestling Championships. She added, “And think of those who have not qualified yet! They must be under so much stress. So, it is good that they will get enough time to start training again and then aim for the Olympics.”

Key Takeaways:

  • IOC said in a statement that the Games will be “rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021.”
  • Khalipan sa ho gaya (there is a feeling of emptiness): Vinesh
  • Olympics would have been dangerous: Lovlina

Vinesh, who has been maintaining a strict diet, expressed that she is heartbroken since all the efforts she has been putting so far was for the big event which now stand postponed. “I have noted everything in the diary — thoughts on my wrestling, my weekly planning, sleeping patterns, dreams, ambitions… I was in the zone,” the wrestler said about her daily routine.

READ: How Are Indian Sportswomen Spending Time While Social Distancing

“I didn’t even finish my stretching. Khalipan sa ho gaya (there is a feeling of emptiness),” an emotional Vinesh said after getting the news of the countrywide lockdown for 21 days.

Not only the Olympics, the European Championship has also been deferred by a year.

“Usually, when I feel like this, I go shopping or just out somewhere. It works as therapy.” But even that would not be possible now with a 21-day countrywide lockdown. “Everything is happening today,” Vinesh said.

The IOC announcement was earlier supposed to come in April as 43 per cent of athletes are still to qualify.

Also Read: Vinesh Phogat Story, the Girl next door to Olympics 2020′

Talking further on the issues, boxer Lovlina Borgohain, said, “The magnitude and the seriousness just kept increasing for us.”

“The Wuhan tournament cancellation was the first shock. We realised ‘okay, this is getting serious’. When we were in Italy, there were only 1-2 cases. I never imagined that Italy would soon be in such rough shape. Reading reports of other qualifiers being cancelled was the first time I thought the Olympics could be in danger,” she expressed.

 “Living under lockdown, it becomes clear that this is a life-or-death scenario. Olympics would have been dangerous,” Lovlina said from her residence in Golaghat, Assam.

Boxer Mary Kom, an Olympic bronze medallist, took to Twitter supporting the decision and wrote, “Excellent and right decision.”

READ: Navjot Kaur – First Indian Woman Wrestler To Clinch Asian Gold

Picture credit: Wrestlingtv/Facebook

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