What’s the story?
13 Indian boxers who, along with their coaches, trainers and sparring partners are in Italy for the Olympic preparations ahead of the Jordan qualifiers, have been told to evacuate the country amidst the flare-up of the coronavirus in Italy.
In case you did not know
The Asian Qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to start from 3 March in Jordan, Amman. Earlier, it was to be held in Wuhan, China from February 3 to 14 but was called off due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The heart of the matter
The boxing contingent of India, comprising of top Indian boxers like Mary Kom and Amit Panghal were training in the Italian town of Assisi. However, the outbreak of the deadly virus in Italy has led to the team’s early departure to Jordan, for the Asian Olympic Qualifying Event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. India’s High Performance Director Santiago Nieva was quoted as saying,
“We were leaving on Friday, but I think we need to prepone. If we do not leave at the earliest, then we might be stuck here. If they close the airport, then we would not be able to go for the qualifiers.”
Meanwhile, the executive director of the boxing federation of India RK Sachet said that they have had a word with the Jordanian officials regarding the team’s early arrival in Jordan. Sachet told ANI,
“We talked with officials in Jordan, they said send your team down to Jordan. The team will go to Jordan, as per schedule they had to leave on 28th, officials in Jordan said no need to panic. We are ready, we have already blocked the seats.”
The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has taken all necessary steps to ensure the safety of the boxers and an easy and hassle-free exit from Italy. After the boxing team’s good performances in recent times, hopes are high of India clinching an Olympic medal in boxing at Tokyo.