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Too early to comment on Olympics postponement: Sathiyan

Kolkata, March 22 (IANS) Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, India’s top-ranked paddler, feels it’s too early to decide whether the Olympics should be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, adding that as an athlete he is ready to abide by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s guidelines.

The global sporting calendar has come to a halt due to the the coronavirus pandemic, but the IOC has insisted the Tokyo Games will go ahead in four months despite growing calls for a postponement.

Global football events such as Euro 2020 and Copa America have also been pushed back by a year.

“I think its too early to decide on that. We will have to wait and see,” Sathiyan told IANS from Chennai.

The No. 31-ranked Sathiyan just returned after winning a silver medal in the men’s doubles of the Hungarian Open, alongside veteran Sharath Kamal.

“If things don’t improve, there is a high chance it might get postponed as players health is definitely the priority,” he said.

“As an athlete I am ready to abide by whatever IOC decides,” added the 27-year old.

Many athletes have complained about the lack of training opportunities now as all are confined to their homes with most qualifiers also cancelled or postponed.

With the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) suspending all events until the end of April, next month’s Asian Olympic Qualifying event in Bangkok has also been postponed indefinitely.

Sathiyan and Kamal, though, are well-placed to qualify on the basis of their rankings.

“Definitely there is uncertainty and a lot of tournaments are cancelled. (We are) not being able to train fully as well. But I can understand as its a world pandemic and health should be the priority,” said Sathiyan.

More than 300,000 people have contracted the novel coronavirus and at least 12,944 have died till Sunday.

–IANS

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