CHENNAI: Olympic-bound athletes flying out of India will now leave for Tokyo in a special chartered flight organised by one of the federation’s officials. This was necessary after a couple of carriers cancelled their scheduled flights.
“President, secretary general and the IOA family wish to thank and express their gratitude to Ajay Singh, president, Boxing Federation of India, for agreeing to fly a special SpiceJet flight for Indian athletes and officials to Tokyo on July 17 after two airlines on June 19 cancelled their scheduled flights for July 17 & 18 in which 81 athletes and officials were booked to fly to Tokyo,” the IOA said. Singh doubles up as head of the SpiceJet.
“IOA had to ensure that athletes leave on July 17 and SpiceJet supported IOA and solved the crisis,” they added. The crisis is a result of a new advisory that insist that athletes and officials travelling from India would have to observe a three-day quarantine like practice upon landing in Japan. This will allow athletes to reach Tokyo early and train after finishing the three-day physical distancing requirement rather than head into competition straightaway.
“The athletes and officials can enter the Games Village only five days prior to their event and under the new prevailing conditions, if we wasted two days due to flight change and three days of quarantine, then Indian athletes would have to go straight for competition without any training and directly from their rooms after three days of quarantine like conditions,” the IOA summarised.