Murali Srishankar, an Indian athlete who created a national record at Long Jump, says the Kovid-19 epidemic has severely affected the global athletics calendar. He said that this would prolong his wait for the Tokyo Olympics to qualify.
Srishankar was in NIS Patiala last month to participate in the first leg of the Indian Grand Prix which was a qualification tournament for the Tokyo Olympics. Following government guidelines, it was canceled a few hours before its commencement. The tournament was to be held without audience on 20 March. Later another Olympic qualifying tournament Federation Cup Senior National Championship (10 to 13 April) was also postponed.
Now World Athletics stopped qualifications for about eight months till the end of November. 21-year-old Srishankar told Pallakad in Kerala, “I went from Kerala to Patiala for the first Indian Grand Prix but it was canceled in the evening before the tournament started. It was disappointing. I was lucky that I reached home at the right time before the lockdown because all the domestic flights were canceled after that. ‘
He said, “Now the whole session is over and the qualifications will start in December itself.” There will not be much competition in the winter season and will start in February-March next year. It will be a long and difficult wait. ‘