Coronavirus: Javelin throwers under quarantine

Two more GP’s were supposed to be held in Patiala on March 25 and in Delhi on March 29. That was followed by the Federation Cup National Championships on April 10.

Published: 20th March 2020 10:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th March 2020 10:48 AM   |  A+A-

Indian athlete Neeraj Chopra

Indian athlete Neeraj Chopra (Photo | AFP)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: After the inevitable cancellation of the Indian GP 1, the two athletes, who had come from different states to participate in the event at NIS, Patiala were asked to leave the camp by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI). Long jumper M Sreeshankar and sprinter Dutee Chand flew down from Palakkad and Bhubaneswar. However, both were asked to vacate the camp on Thursday morning. “We had booked a hotel and we will be staying here today. We will go back home to Palakkad on Friday as it will be safer there,” Sreeshankar told this newspaper.  

Two more GP’s were supposed to be held in Patiala on March 25 and in Delhi on March 29. That was followed by the Federation Cup National Championships on April 10. However, with the latest sports ministry advisory asking all national federations to not conduct any sports events, including selection trials till April 15, AFI high-performance director Volker Herrmann confirmed to this daily that all the above-mentioned events are cancelled or postponed indefinitely. “There is a government directive. So we will be following that,” he said. 

While Sreeshankar and Dutee were asked to leave the camp, the AFI has accommodated javelin throwers who returned from Turkey and South Africa. Neeraj Chopra and Rohit Yadav along with German biomechanics expert Dr Klaus Bartonietz were training in Antalya while Shivpal Singh, Vipin Kasana, Arshdeep Singh, Annu Rani and Uwe Hohn were based in Potchefstroom. Neeraj & Co joined the camp on Wednesday while the throwers from South Africa arrived on Thursday.

While AFI has been maintaining that the national camp in Patiala is safe, with the necessary precautions being taken, it has been learnt that Neeraj and Rohit were spotted interacting with fellow athletes in the camp on Wednesday.  The government had made it clear that anyone returning from abroad was supposed to self-quarantine themselves for 14 days. “We all spoke with him in the camp and it all seemed normal,” an athlete from the Patiala camp said. However, Herrmann confirmed on Thursday there was nothing to worry about. “We have quarantined both sets of throwers here at Patiala,” he said. The sports ministry had already told this newspaper that their health advisories have to be followed in letter and spirit.

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