Bhubaneshwar (Odisha) [India], February 14 (ANI): Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has said that it would be good if the athletes are able to get the Covid-19 vaccine before the Olympics slated to be held in Tokyo later this year.
Earlier this week, Union Ministry for Youth Affairs and Sports had requested the Health Ministry to put Tokyo Olympic-bound athletes on priority for the coronavirus vaccine.
"Ministry and all are thinking that if athletes get the Covid-19 vaccine before the Olympics, I think it is a good thought. They must be aware of everything, if every athlete gets the jab before the Olympics, then it would be good," Chopra told ANI.
Earlier, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju had said that Olympic-bound athletes will be given priority for vaccine and they will seek guidance and advice from the Health Ministry. Also, last month, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra had said that vaccination of Olympic-bound athletes is their topmost priority.
When talking about his preparation for the Olympics, Chopra said: "The experience has been good, it was the first time that our camp was organised in Bhubaneshwar, the facilities were quite good. Whatever we needed for preparing for Olympics, it was given to us and we were helped at every possible stage."
"We were in NIS, we were not allowed to go outside, it is good in terms of safety for athletes. There is a lot of strictness there, two-three months were quite difficult when the lockdown was announced. Stadiums and tracks were closed down, when the tracks opened up, it got a bit easier. 1-2 months we can leave training, but it cannot be left for long," he added.
The javelin thrower also said that the Olympics remain the main focus and he is fully confident of making the country proud in the upcoming Tokyo Games.
"Olympics is the main focus this year, hopefully, we will perform to the best of our ability. Before that we have competitions such as Diamond League, we will participate to the best of our ability in that as well. Preparation has been good, in the last year, when I made a comeback, my fitness was really good. Right now, I am working on my fitness," said Chopra.
The team of elite javelin throwers including Neeraj Chopra, Shivpal Singh, and Annu Rani led by coaches Uwe Hohn and Dr Klaus arrived in Bhubaneswar in December 2020 to train and prepare for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. (ANI)