Five players of the Indian judo team are set to travel to Budapest, Hungary to participate in the International Judo Federation (IJF) Grand Slam 2020 event scheduled from October 23 to 26. The Government of India will be bearing the cost of the entire trip for the team.
The five judokas, comprising of three male and two female players, will leave the country on October 19. Upon their arrival in Hungary, the players will have to produce atleast two negative COVID-19 individual medical certificates with the PCR tests done maximum five days before their arrival and taken within a space of 48 hours.
The men's team is made up of former Olympian Avtar Singh (Men's 100 kg), 24-year-old Vijay Yadav (Men's 60 kg) and Jasleen Singh Saini, the 22-year-old developmental athlete from the TOPS program who competes in the Men's 66 kg event.
The women's team comprises of 25-year-old Sushila Devi (Women's 48 kg) and 22-year-old Tulika Mann (Women's 78 kg).
High hopes from the Judokas of qualification for the Olympics
The five Judokas who have been selected from India have made the cut on the basis of their world rankings in their respective categories. They have a good chance of securing the quotas for qualification to the Tokyo Olympics scheduled for late July next year.
Young Jasleen Singh Saini, who hails from the state of Punjab, spoke about his aim for the Olympics and appreciated the Government for their support to the Judo team.
"My aim is to get a medal for India in the Olympics and I'm very confident to get this done because I have done a lot of hard work for this. I am also very thankful to the government for their support. Even if there is hard work from our side but no government support, we can do nothing. So, I am very thankful they are bearing the expenses for our trip," Saini said.
Among the men, Jasleen Singh Saini is ranked highest in the world at No. 56 and has collected 854 Olympics qualification points. For the women, it is Sushila Devi who is ranked the highest at No. 41, and has collected a total of 833 Olympics qualification points.
The International Judo Federation Grand Slam 2020 event in Budapest, Hungary is set to witness around 645 competitors from a total of 81 countries.