Tokyo 2020: PM Narendra Modi directs officials to vaccinate athletes 'on top priority'

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jun 03, 2021, 07:37 PM(IST)

Indian PM Modi Photograph:( ANI )

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The Indian Prime Minister also said that he will talk to the contingent travelling to the Olympics in July to encourage them and wish them luck for the Summer Games. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed Indian athlete's preparedness for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics on Thursday and told the officials to get the athlete and support staff travelling for the games vaccinated as soon as possible.

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“From vaccination to training facilities, every need of our sportspersons must be fulfilled on top priority,” PM Modi told the officials, according to a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office.

“While a total of 19 Indian athletes had participated at the last Paralympics in 2016 at Rio de Janeiro. 26 para-athletes have qualified (this year) and 16 more athletes are likely to qualify…,” the PMO statement said.

The Indian Prime Minister also said that he will talk to the contingent travelling to the Olympics in July to encourage them and wish them luck for the Summer Games. 

Tokyo Olympics was postponed by a year due to a raging coronavirus pandemic. However, despite COVID fears still at large, Tokyo 2020 chief Seiko Hashimoto, on Thursday, said that the Games cannot be postponed again. 

Seiko Hashimoto countered the gloom, telling the Nikkan Sports newspaper: "We cannot postpone again."

Hashimoto, who competed in seven summers and winter Olympics as a cyclist and skater, also told the BBC that while the Japanese were understandably worried, they should be reassured that a "bubble situation" was being carefully constructed.

"I believe that the possibility of these Games going on is 100 per cent that we will do this," she added. "One thing the organising committee commits and promises to all the athletes out there is that we will defend and protect their health."

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga also seemed confident of pulling off a successful Olympics and Paralympics as he plans a snap vote afterwards, the Asahi newspaper said.

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