Mary Kom travels to Italy for training to avoid Covid-19 travel restrictions for Tokyo Olympics

Published on Jun 29, 2021 06:08 PM IST

Mary Kom emphasized how a quarantine isolation period can break her training rhythm and momentum. She believes that all the hard work and training will amount to nothing if she goes through a hard quarantine. Personal coach Chhote Lal Yadav and a physio will accompany her to Italy.

MC Mary Kom punches a bag during a training session(REUTERS)
MC Mary Kom punches a bag during a training session(REUTERS)

MC Mary Kom, the six-time world champion, changed her plans of travel for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics to avoid the added restrictions imposed by the Tokyo Games Organising Committee. She will join the en-route Indian Olympic boxing team in Italy.

"I have changed my plans. I have returned to Delhi and will leave for Italy maybe tomorrow or day after. There are stricter quarantine restrictions on those who are travelling from India. I want to avoid them," the world champion told PTI.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the games are scheduled to start from the 23rd of July. The 38-year-old was training at the Pune Army Sports Institute until now, she is set to join her fellow Indian boxers in Assisi where they had been training all this time.

Mary Kom emphasized how a quarantine isolation period can break her training rhythm and momentum. She believes that all the hard work and training will amount to nothing if she goes through a hard quarantine. Personal coach Chhote Lal Yadav and a physio will accompany her to Italy.

"After training so hard for so long, no point in taking such a risk as a hard quarantine can break the rhythm," the Olympic champion said.

India and 10 other countries have faced stricter rules and regulations leading up to the Tokyo Games by the Japanese Government. However, athletes travelling from other training bases like Italy are not bound to those rules. Olympic athletes from India are required to take daily Covid-19 tests a week before they are bound for Tokyo, they have also been asked to not be in direct contact with anyone from other countries.

"The protocols are obviously tough given the circumstances and you don't want additional stuff to deal with while trying to focus on your performance," Mary Kom said.

The Japanese government has given some relaxation to athletes for medical updates online but they have refused a request from The Indian Olympic Association to the Tokyo Games Committee regarding the relaxation in the Covid-19 testing protocols. It stated that it would take a huge logistical toll on the athletes and their travel preparations for Tokyo.

The Indian Olympic boxing contingent was training in Assisi earlier this month and was expected to return to India on the 10th of July followed by their final trip to Tokyo for the Olympics. A total of nine Indian boxers – Five men and four women – qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.

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