Tokyo Olympics 2020: Indian boxers training for Olympic qualifiers to continue camp in Italy despite coronavirus fears

Indian boxers training in Italy for next month's Olympic qualifiers were given the option of flying out early due to the novel Coronavirus threat in that country but the team has decided to stay put as its training base in Assisi is 'far' from the epicentre of the outbreak.

Press Trust of India February 25, 2020 16:58:05 IST
Tokyo Olympics 2020: Indian boxers training for Olympic qualifiers to continue camp in Italy despite coronavirus fears
  • The Indian team, comprising 13 boxers and about the same number of support staff, is currently in Assisi, a hill town in the central Italian region of Umbria

  • The coronavirus outbreak in Italy has so far affected the northern Lombardy region, leaving seven dead and 229 infected

  • 'We have spoken to the Italian authorities and realised that there is no need for concern for us right now,' said India's High Performance Director Santiago Nieva

New Delhi: Indian boxers training in Italy for next month's Olympic qualifiers were given the option of flying out early due to the novel coronavirus threat in that country but the team has decided to stay put as its training base in Assisi is "far" from the epicentre of the outbreak.

The Indian team, comprising 13 boxers and about the same number of support staff, is currently in Assisi, a hill town in the central Italian region of Umbria. The coronavirus outbreak in Italy has so far affected the northern Lombardy region, leaving seven dead and 229 infected.

Tokyo Olympics 2020 Indian boxers training for Olympic qualifiers to continue camp in Italy despite <span class=coronavirus fears" width="380" height="285" />

Representational image. Getty

"We are staying put in Assisi, we have a scheduled training tomorrow. We were a bit worried when we heard news of the outbreak but as we understand now, the outbreak is quite far, near Milan, while we are in the central region," India's High Performance Director Santiago Nieva told PTI from Assisi.

"We have spoken to the Italian authorities and realised that there is no need for concern for us right now," he added.

The Olympic qualifiers for boxing are scheduled to be held in Jordan from 3 March. The event was postponed by a month after the original host — Wuhan in China — went into lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Indian team, comprising decorated stars such as the legendary MC Mary Kom, Amit Panghal and Vikas Krishan among others, is scheduled to leave for Jordan from Rome on Friday.

Eleven Italian towns — 10 in Lombardy and one in the north-eastern region of Veneto — have been placed under a lockdown, according to various media reports.

The team was given the choice of leaving as early as Wednesday after Nieva expressed concerns in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in his communication with the national federation.

"Yes, the federation had given us the option of taking an early flight but we are okay with staying back and completing our camp as planned because we are far away from the threat," Nieva said.

"There is no need to panic, my message to the federation was meant to sensitise them of the situation and explore options should the situation arise," he added when asked about his message to the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) Secretary General Jay Kowli.

The event in Jordan will kick-start the qualifying process for the Tokyo Olympics this year.

"Our training is going quite well. Everything is as per plan and we are confident of a strong showing in the qualifiers," Nieva said.

Updated Date:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Badminton qualification period for Games extended to 15 June
Sports

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Badminton qualification period for Games extended to 15 June

The development came after the BWF decided to postpone two tournaments in Malaysia and Singapore Open from their earlier scheduled dates.

Naomi Osaka's low-key celebrations for winning Australian Open 2021 involve anime, pizza, and sleep
Sports

Naomi Osaka's low-key celebrations for winning Australian Open 2021 involve anime, pizza, and sleep

"I'm probably going to watch some anime... maybe (eat) pizza... and go to sleep," said Osaka after winning her fourth Grand Slam title.

Tokyo Olympics 2020 Latest Updates: As 'Games like no other' appear on horizon, a daily look at noteworthy developments
Sports

Tokyo Olympics 2020 Latest Updates: As 'Games like no other' appear on horizon, a daily look at noteworthy developments

With less that five months remaining for the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony, there are as many questions as there are answers about how the Games will go on. Follow this liveblog for a day-to-day breakdown of the most critical updates about Tokyo 2020: