Surge in pandemic cases in New Delhi halts sports activities

Indian Olympian shooter Manu Bhaker
Indian Olympian shooter Manu Bhaker

The surge in pandemic cases this past week has halted sports activities in the Capital. While the ongoing Nehru U17 Boys Hockey Tournament here at Shivaji Stadium has been stopped, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has also closed down its “come and play scheme”.

“Due to a surge in Covid-19 cases government has closed down the “come and play scheme” till further order of the competent authority,” senior SA official said on Thursday.

The final of the Nehru Hockey U17 Boys Hockey Tournament was scheduled to be played on January 6.

“The Hockey competition (Nehru Hockey Tournament) resumed in November in the Capital, but a new wave of the pandemic, which medical experts say is related to the Omicron Covid variant, has again disrupted the calendar,” a hockey coach said.
“The hockey players enrolled at the National Center of Excellence (NCOE) at the National Stadium are allowed to practice as they are staying inside the campus.”

As pandemic cases are surging in New Delhi, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has shifted the national ranking tournament scheduled from January 12 here in New Delhi to Uttar Pradesh.

The national ranking tournament will be shifted to Gonda in Uttar Pradesh, confirmed Vinod Tomar, assistant secretary, WFI.

The three-day national ranking competition was supposed to be held here at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Sports Complex. The WFI will select elite wrestlers during the national ranking tournament for upcoming international competitions.

“Since local government has closed sports activities in New Delhi, we have no other option than to change the venue,” said Tomar.

National selection trials for pistol events are scheduled to be held here at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges from January 13, too look doubtful due to a surge in pandemic cases. Top pistol shooters like Olympian Manu Bhaker will compete in national selection trials.

National selection trials in shotgun and rifle events are being conducted at Madhya Pradesh Shooting Academy in Bhopal. While national selection trials in rifle events will start from January 7, shotgun trials are scheduled to commence from January 14.

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Edited by Rohit Mishra
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