Hopeful of India recording best-ever medal haul in Tokyo Olympics: Bindra – other sports

India’s solely particular person Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra is hopeful of the nation recording its best-ever medal haul in the upcoming version of the mega-occasion in Tokyo, saying every of the athlete could be counted as a “realistic” prospect.

India’s greatest displaying on the Games stays the six medals it received in London in 2012.

“Tokyo Olympics could end up with our best ever medal haul even though the times are challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bindra mentioned on Monday throughout a webinar organised by Merchants’ Chambers of Commerce & Industry.

“Sport is not scripted but I do hope that we come back with our best medal haul and that means we will come back with 5-6 medals and better the London haul, which, if I am not wrong, remains our best,” he added.

Bindra, who created historical past by profitable the nation’s first and solely particular person Olympic gold medal on the 2008 Beijing Games, is optimistic a couple of robust efficiency by the Indian capturing contingent in the Japanese capital.

“I think each one of them has the ability to do their best, they have proved themselves in the last two-three years.

“There are definite medal hopes not just in shooting but across other disciplines as well. We have many people who can be considered as realistic medal hopes going into Tokyo. But a lot also depends on that particular day,” he mentioned.

The former world champion in 10m air rifle, who turned entrepreneur after the Rio Olympics in 2016, mentioned like in sports, adaptability and acceptance additionally come helpful in enterprise.

“Whenever I am in a crisis situation, whenever I find a challenge I do look back at my sporting career and ask myself how do I face it.

“As an athlete you have to be very adaptable to changing situations, these are very useful in business as well,” he mentioned whereas talking on his transition from a sportsman to an entrepreneur.

“The other thing that is very important is acceptance. Sometimes we have to learn how to accept and move on as soon. As you do that your mind opens, it opens up to look at solutions rather than whining. The mind is then very positive. But it is easier said than done.”

He additionally mentioned the capturing scene has modified quite a bit from the time when he had began 22 years in the past.

“Shooting is now dominated by youngsters but when I was growing up, I was competing with older and experienced people who were double or triple our age. I don’t think it was a challenge but it was an interesting dynamic,” he mentioned, responding to a query.

Speaking concerning the time after his Beijing heroics, when he contemplated giving up capturing, Bindra mentioned meditation helped him regain his deal with the game.

“Post Beijing I wanted to give up. I went for a meditation retreat, a 10-day Vipasana where I am supposed to meditate for 10 hours a day. That’s when I realised that I was still in love with the process.

“Actually it was the boring and mundane that again brought me back to the sport,” the previous shooter, who now runs the Abhinav Bindra Targeting Performance Centre (ABTP) mentioned.

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Tokyo Games: All 68 domestic sponsors agree to new contracts – other sports

Tokyo Olympic officers mentioned Thursday they’ve reached a “basic agreement” with all 68 domestic sponsors to lengthen their contracts into subsequent yr to help the postponed Games. Japanese domestic sponsors have contributed a file of $3.3 billion to the native working funds.

This is at the least twice as giant as any earlier Olympics and is pushed by Dentsu Inc,, the large Japanese promoting firm that can be the advertising and marketing agent for the Tokyo Games.

Officials didn’t instantly give monetary particulars nor phrases of the extensions throughout an on-line briefing. They mentioned contracts have been nonetheless being finalized.

The Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported earlier this month — citing sources shut to the matter — that the highest 15 so-referred to as “Gold Partners” would contribute an added 1 billion yen every. This is about $10 million every.

Some of the Gold Partners embrace effectively-identified names like Canon, Fujitsu, and the Mizuho Financial Group.

Nikkei can be a domestic sponsor together with other dailies together with Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri and a number of other smaller newspapers.

Sponsors the just like the airline ANA and Japan Airlines, amongst others struggling throughout the pandemic, have been additionally reported to be contributing.

Tokyo Olympic organizers introduced earlier this week that their new funds, swollen by the postponement and the price of holding the Olympics throughout a pandemic, had elevated by $2.8 billion, pushing the official value to $15.4 billion.

A authorities audit over the past a number of years has proven the overall might be nearer to $25 billion. All however $6.7 billion is public cash.

Tokyo officers mentioned the Olympics would value about $7.5 billion once they gained the bid in 2013 from the International Olympic Committee.

Sponsors are being requested to make up a few of the monetary shortfall. However, a lot of the value overrun shall be met by Japanese authorities entities.

The postponed Olympics are to open on July 23, 2021, adopted by the Paralympics on Aug. 24.

Japan has contained COVID-19 higher than most nations, and there’s skepticism among the many public about inviting 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes into the nation.

Vaccinations are usually not anticipated to be broadly obtainable in Japan till March.

Add to this, tens of 1000’s of officers, judges, sponsors and media — not to point out followers from overseas, if they’re allowed to enter. Officials are anticipated to determine on the numbers and precise preventive measures early subsequent yr.

A phone ballot this month of 1,200 members by Japanese information company Kyodo confirmed 63% need the Olympics postponed or canceled.

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Tokyo Olympics Q&A: Costs, IOC, COVID-19, and vaccinations – other sports

Much of the deal with the Tokyo Olympics has been on the unprecedented postponement due to the pandemic, and how the Olympics could be held in seven months. The focus main as much as Christmas falls on the price range and the growing prices which are being shouldered by Japan. Tokyo organizing committee officers are anticipated to announce up to date figures this week.

The official prices revealed final 12 months presently was $12.6 billion. However, Japan’s National Audit Board final 12 months stated the prices are a lot increased than organizers say. Overall spending then was positioned at a minimum of $25 billion.

All of that is public cash aside from $5.6 billion.

Official prices this time are positive to extend by a minimum of $2.8 billion. This is the associated fee organizers reported earlier this month for the one-12 months delay. Domestic sponsors are being requested to pay extra to make up the shortfall. But a lot of the burden merely falls on Japanese authorities entities.

The 2019 price range reveals the Switzerland-based IOC contributed about $1.3 billion to fund the Olympics.

Q: Why is it so costly to carry the Olympics?

A: The University of Oxford has an excellent examine out in September that explains most of the questions. The examine factors out that each Olympics since 1960 has run over price range by a median of 172%, For occasion, Tokyo organizers stated the Olympics would value about $7.3 billion after they have been awarded in 2013. The value now could also be nearer to $25 billion.

The Oxford examine says excessive prices are pushed up by tight deadlines, having a brand new metropolis set up the Olympics every time, and by the truth that the IOC doesn’t have to soak up the price of price range overruns. These all fall on native organizers and governments.

Q: We hear so much in regards to the IOC. What is it precisely?

A: The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-revenue group based mostly in Switzerland. The IOC, in its newest report, confirmed it generated 73% of its earnings from promoting broadcast rights. Another 18% is from promoting sponsorships. Total earnings within the final 4-12 months Olympic cycle (2013-16) was $5.7 billion.

The IOC says it redistributes 90% of its earnings to assist stage the Olympics, promote the Olympics, and develop world sports. The IOC president is Thomas Bach. He is listed as a “volunteer”however has all of his bills coated and receives an annual “indemnity”of $225,000. His Swiss taxes are additionally paid, amounting to $126,000 in line with the most recent report.

Q: What is the extent of help for the Tokyo Olympics in Japan?

A: The newest ballot, revealed this month by Japanese broadcaster NHK, reveals wavering help. In a phone survey of 1,200, 63% stated the Olympics must be postponed or canceled. On the other aspect, 27% stated the Games must be held. The ballot was carried out on Dec. 11-13.

This is much less help that was documented in a an identical ballot in October. At that point, 40% favored the Olympics going forward and 48% stated they need to be canceled or postponed once more.

Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee have stated the Games can’t be postponed once more and should be held this time or canceled.

Q: What is the COVID-19 state of affairs in Tokyo and Japan?

A: Tokyo reported a one-day document of 822 new circumstances on Thursday. The day earlier than additionally set a one-day document. Almost 3,000 deaths in Japan has been attributed to COVID-19, a quantity that’s nonetheless low by by many worldwide requirements. Japan has a inhabitants of 125 million.

More than 300,000 have died from COVID-19 within the United States, which has a inhabitants of 330 million.

All COVID-19 numbers in Japan have been climbing for the reason that center of November.

The first vaccinations in Japan are anticipated to start as early as March. The OIympics are to open on July 23, 2021.


More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Tokyo Games relay opens in 100 days with 10,000 torchbearers – other sports

The torch relay for the postponed Tokyo Olympics is to start out in simply over three months, and it faces the identical questions because the Olympics about being held safely throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers mentioned Tuesday the relay is to start on March 25 from the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima. This was additionally to have been the place to begin for the relay earlier than the Olympics had been postponed 9 months in the past.

This coastal space of Japan was devastated nearly 10 years in the past by an earthquake and tsunami and the next meltdown of three nuclear reactors.

The relay will journey throughout Japan and contain 10,000 runners and tens of hundreds of officers. This doesn’t embody native residents who will need to see the torch go by.

“The COVID-19 countermeasures will be worked on continuously for the torch relay; the audience, the torchbearers as well as the officials who are related to the program,” Yukihiko Nunomura, vice director basic of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, mentioned Tuesday throughout an on-line information convention.

The relay is sponsored by Toyota and Coca-Cola — two heavyweight Olympic sponsors. There was some dialogue early about the potential of eliminating the occasion for value and security causes, however that concept appeared to be shortly discarded.

The relay will final for 121 days and go by way of 859 municipalities — just about as was deliberate earlier than the postponement.

“We wanted to simplify the program as much as possible, trying to minimize the number of vehicles and audience as well,” Nunomura mentioned. “As you know the torch relay will go all over Japan and we will have a lot of participants.”

The Tokyo Skytree, the tallest tower in Japan, was lighted in gold on Tuesday to commemorate 100 days till the relay begins.

The postponed Olympics are to open on July 23, 2021, and are set to incorporate the complete complement of 11,000 athletes. The Paralympics will add 4,400 extra.

Organizers of the Olympics and torch relay are ready till early subsequent yr to offer particular particulars about countermeasures for the coronavirus. They have been inspired in regards to the current roll out of vaccines.

“A few vaccines are now being distributed and are actually being used,” Yuriko Koike, the governor of Tokyo, mentioned in an interview Monday with Associated Press. “Ït’s a ray of hope.”

Japan has seen new infections spike throughout the nation in the final a number of weeks. On Saturday new circumstances totaled 3,041 — the primary time above 3,000.

Japan, with a inhabitants of 125 million, has dealt with the pandemic comparatively properly with simply over 2,500 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

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All not well with India’s Tokyo preparation – other sports

It was a sight emblematic of this pandemic-shattered sporting yr: Norway’s Karsten Warholm, working on their lonesome, with no opponents or spectators, clearing one hurdle after one other with these lengthy strides, powering by the space of 300m in a document time (33.78 seconds). That was on June 11 on the Impossible Games Exhibition in Oslo, an occasion that kick-began worldwide observe and discipline competitors in any case sports got here to a 3-month halt because of the pandemic.

Warholm has raced a number of instances since, together with on the Rome leg of the Diamond League in September the place he broke the meet document in 400m hurdles. As far as preparations for the postponed Tokyo Olympics (starting 23 July 2021) goes, Warholm is in a very good place. So is javelin thrower Johannes Vetter. The German, coming back from an ankle harm, competed in seven occasions with competitions opening up in Europe. He hurled the spear to 97.76—the second greatest throw in historical past—on the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold assembly in Silesia on September 6.

In stark distinction, Neeraj Chopra, Vetter’s rival and India’s solely lifelike observe & discipline medal hope in Tokyo, has spent most of this yr both coaching in a small group on the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) Patiala centre or in quarantine. He has seen no competitors, not even a home meet since a small nationwide camp for elite athletes started in May submit a 3-month lockdown.

While the cricket season kicked off with IPL and high tier soccer with the ISL, for the nation’s Olympic hopefuls, it has been a yr stuffed with disappointments—delayed begins to nationwide camps, disagreements over quarantine guidelines, poor planning and attendance at coaching camps, and no competitors. In every self-discipline the place India has medal hopes—badminton, wrestling, taking pictures, at a stretch, even hockey—the story is similar (the one exception is boxing). Add to that an exodus of high coaches from all these disciplines with simply eight months left to the Games—coaches who have been appointed for a 4-yr cycle with the Olympics in thoughts—and it seems like India’s Olympic desires could also be slipping away.

“Where do we stand? I don’t think anyone in the world can answer that question right now,” stated Viren Rasquinha, former India hockey captain and CEO of Olympic Gold Quest. “Because the brutal fact is that no one in the world has played consistent competitive tournaments in the past nine months. This is going to be the most unpredictable and open Olympics ever.”

Yet, main sporting nations–the US, Canada, China, most European international locations—managed to carry their Olympic programme again on observe within the final 3-4 months by restarting home tournaments and in some instances, worldwide competitions as well.

“Those who have not secured the Olympic qualification face a very critical period ahead. They have to get fit and sharp, because the first few tournaments that they take part in might be an Olympic qualifier,” stated Rasquinha.

That will put Indian athletes below extra stress. The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) revised the home calendar thrice since March, however has failed to carry any aggressive meets. The Indian Grand Prix in Patiala on September 12 adopted by the National Open in Chennai (September 20-25) and the Federation Cup (Patiala, from October 6) have been all finally cancelled. Even plans of holding inner competitions didn’t not take off. Finally, the season got here to an in depth with the cancellation of the nationwide throwing competitors in Patiala on October 26-27.

“The conditions were not conducive to hold a competition due to the pandemic. For us the well-being of our athletes is of utmost importance and competitions will be held only when the situation is conducive. We don’t want to risk the health of our athletes by rushing them into competition,” stated AFI president Adille Sumariwala.

Meanwhile, European athletics our bodies tailored and organised competitions following social distancing and security norms (like leaving one-lane gaps between runners) and creating bio-bubbles. The Czech Republic was the primary nation to renew home competitors, and the primary worldwide meet—Bislett Games in Oslo—was organised in June.

“In India some of the states haven’t even opened the stadiums. There were many restrictions.,” stated Anju Bobby George, a former observe star who’s now an official of the AFI.

Coaches give up

In November, Indian athletics’ excessive efficiency director Volker Herrmann of Germany resigned. The motive he gave was his incapability to satisfy “self-imposed expectations”.

Herrmann was monitoring, amongst others, the coaching of Jakarta Asian Games champion in 1500m Jinson Johnson, a Tokyo Olympics hopeful. He was Johnson’s third coach in two years. Now, Johnson must begin his Olympic preparations afresh. His private greatest is 3:35.24 secs whereas Olympic qualification is 3:35.

“It’s not advisable to change coaches in the build-up months leading to a major championship like the Olympics,” stated Anju.

Though a high-stage coach quitting in the midst of the pandemic with a postponed Olympics looming forward is a very dangerous mixture of occasions, high coaches quitting forward of the Olympics is not new for Indian Olympic groups. British Olympian Derek Boosey give up simply three months earlier than the 2016 Olympics from the identical submit after holding it down for lower than a yr, saying, “I’m no longer comfortable in the position.”

Constant and sudden modifications in teaching and help employees is one thing that each India’s males’s and girls’s hockey groups have been dealing with for years. It continued by the pandemic: High efficiency director David John give up in August, physiotherapist David MacDonald and analytical coach Chris Ciriello in September—all three Australians resigned citing private and medical causes regardless of signing contract extensions after the Olympics have been postponed. Ciriello, an Olympic medallist and World Cup winner, additionally doubled up because the workforce’s penalty nook professional.

The hockey coaching camps too have been on since August at SAI’s Bengaluru centre, the place the groups have spent months in lockdown. They have performed no aggressive matches since February. International hockey resumed in Europe in September with Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Great Britain collaborating in FIH Pro League.

“Given we have not had any international competition for the last nine months; it is very difficult to gauge where the team is at in comparison with other top teams,” stated males’s workforce coach Graham Reid.

Shooting blues

In taking pictures, there was a setback for skeet shooters with coach Ennio Falco, the 1996 Atlanta Olympics champion, resigning due to a fallout with National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) over variations with choice coverage. Two skeet shooters, Mairaj Ahmed Khan and Angad Vir Singh Bajwa are amongst 15 quotas that India has grabbed in taking pictures. When the lockdown began in March, the shooters have been ready for the workforce to be introduced for the Tokyo Olympics. After seven months and two postponements on account of logistical hurdles, the taking pictures camp may begin solely in October. Till then, shooters had little selection however to remain at residence and observe with no matter assets that they had. Meanwhile, home and worldwide competitions in Europe began in September.

Badminton finds itself in the identical boat too—whereas the worldwide calendar resumed in October, and most Asian international locations organised camps and inner competitions since July, Indian badminton gamers may solely begin coaching final month with a small variety of gamers attending Gopichand Academy and the SAI centre in Hyderabad. In September, an try to restart coaching camps was known as off after gamers and SAI officers failed to search out widespread floor on quarantine protocols.

“In Europe, Danish and German leagues are going on. Malaysia also conducted some national tournaments. Even Indonesia did something like that,” stated India’s highest ranked combined doubles shuttler Pranaav Chopra. “We have not played a match for nine months.”

Departure of international coaches has been a difficulty in badminton too. The newest to give up was Indonesian doubles coach Flandy Limpele in March in the midst of the Olympic cycle, precisely a yr after taking on the reins from Malaysian Tan Kim Her who too exited in a huff.

Wrestling has seen the identical scene play out—the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) sacked males’s freestyle coach Hossein Karimi simply six months into his tenure. Women’s workforce head coach Andrew Cook was fired in the midst of the pandemic. Wrestlers who’ve certified for the Olympics—Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Deepak Punia and Ravi Dahiya—skilled on their very own in the course of the lockdown. The males’s camp began in September. The ladies’s camp, after being postponed twice, began a month later in Lucknow, however needed to be known as off after the Diwali break with ladies wrestlers not able to undergo the 14-day quarantine.

In swimming, whereas the federal government ordered the opening of swimming pools in October, a number of the elite swimmers are nonetheless with out a pool.

“The Talkotara Swimming Pool is not functioning. My son (Kushagra Rawat) has achieved B qualification in three events—400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle, but is not able to train. Athletes from other nations have already started training for the Olympics,” says Hukum Singh Rawat, his father. “I’m surprised at the attitude of the sports administrators in the country as well as the Delhi government. The Delhi half marathon was held but no one is concerned about the home athletes who have potential to make an impact in the 2021 Olympics.”

Boxing does it proper

Boxing was the primary Olympic self-discipline to get its core group collectively in a nationwide camp in Patiala in July. The Boxing Federation of India pushed for a camp instantly after the lockdown ended after which managed to ship 14 boxers on a two-month Europe tour for coaching and competitors. They have been coaching on the National Olympic Centre in Assisi, Italy and in addition competed in a match in France. The boxers will compete subsequent week in Germany within the Chemistry Cup.“The important tournaments like Olympics and World Championships require at least a four-year plan and such a long period of inactivity will have some effects on athletes globally in their Olympic preparation,” stated ladies’s chief coach Rafaelle Bergamasco. “At present the level of performance of our boxers is nearly 75% of their ability. Since lockdown and long period of inactivity, we will take some time to reach our maximum. The good thing is we have been invited by many European and African countries along with the USA for joint training and matches. This will definitely help our boxers to gain more international experience after a long inactive period with no competitions.”

(With inputs from Rutvick Mehta and B Shrikant)

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