Hockey players pass, athletes jog as training resumes at Bengaluru SAI campus after two months

25 from men’s & women’s teams begin training in Bengaluru, familiarisation & acclimatisation for track & field team 

Published: 02nd June 2020 09:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd June 2020 09:26 AM   |  A+A-

For representational purposes (File | PTI)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: After more than two months of not wielding their hockey sticks, both the men’s and women’s teams were finally allowed to use the turf at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) campus in Bengaluru on Monday. But their first training session came with a heavy caveat. The only hockey-based drills the players were allowed were passing and receiving.

In all, about 25 players — comprising both the men’s and women’s squads — accessed the turf. The rest, interestingly, were given training drills in the football ground. On Tuesday, there will be a reversal of roles; the ones who were put through soft training drills will be allowed access to the turf while the ones who had pass and receive exercises will be taken to the football field. It’s likely that this module will continue for the time being. Keeping in mind the times that we live in, the turf was sanitised at regular intervals on Monday. The coaches, however, weren’t allowed to leave their dugouts.

The hockey sides are one of the first national teams to get back to training after the government announced a nationwide lockdown to control the virus in the last week of March. However, international hockey teams — Netherlands and Belgium — already returned to training. It remains to be seen when the national teams will be given the green light for full contact training.

Intense training later

Even the athletes stuck in Patiala and Bengaluru (race walkers and long distance runners ) have started jogging and walking around the track and field complex in small batches after SAI’s nod last week. Their target right now is to get fit and shed a few kilos gained during the lockdown. Training will take at least 10 days to start.

According to Athletics Federation of India president Adille Sumariwalla athletes have been asked to go around the stadium, walk and jog. “It is more as a familiarisation and acclimatisation exercise,” said Sumariwalla. “They have been living in their rooms for so many days without much exercise so it would not be prudent to straight away start training.”

The federation is being updated on a daily basis. “I have told my athletes that they should just come out and enjoy,” he said. “We will start training only after the athletes are physically, mentally and emotionally ready. Our coaches and the high performance director (Volker Herrmann) decided that right now we will try and make them get back to fitness. After 8-10 days, we’ll assess their progress and decide.”

The one place where athletes are training without any concern or scare of coronavirus is in Wellington near Ooty. The steeplechase team of five, including Olympic bound Avinash Sable, Parul Choudhury, Durga Bahadur Buddha, are having a much better time at the high altitude centre compared to those training in Patiala and Bengaluru. Training under coach Amrish Kumar, the athletes are much more relaxed as there is just one active case of coronavirus in the hill district of The Nilgiris. Load is in the lower side as training started last week.

Badminton training on hold

Badminton Association of India’s  (BAI) plans to bring back some of the elite shuttlers on court from June 1 has been put on hold after failing to get permission from the Telangana government.  As reported by this daily, PV Sindhu, B Sai Praneeth and those in with a chance to qualify for 2021 Tokyo Olympics were expected to start training at Gopichand Badminton Academy from  the aforementioned date. “We were planning to start but we couldn’t. We have time in hand but we can’t take too long to begin. I’m ready to start when we get the permission,” Sai Praneeth said. 


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