By Nitin Srivastava
New Delhi [India], March 19 (ANI): Kiren Rijiju, the Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, feels ace Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia wanted to feel secure and that is why he went ahead and got vaccinated with the Tokyo Olympics round the corner.
The world number one wrestler on Thursday said that he has already received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This has led to the raising of a few eyebrows as there hasn't been any official announcement on starting of vaccination of Olympic-bound athletes.
The Sports Minister feels to avoid any delay in getting vaccinated, Bajrang might have received his first dose. "For vaccination, we are in discussion with the health ministry. He (Bajrang) must have thought that because there is a delay, he wanted to be secure. I cannot make any comment right now but we are worried about the safety of all the players," Rijiju told ANI.
Bajrang while speaking to ANI on Thursday said he has already received his first dose of vaccine and will take the next jab after 28 days. "I have taken the first dose of vaccine and would take the next dose after 28 days. I won't tell anyone to take the vaccine or not take it. Athletes must consult their doctors and coaches before getting the first dose," he said.
Meanwhile, an unnamed shooter has tested positive for coronavirus ahead of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Rifle/Pistol/Shotgun which is scheduled to start on Friday at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting range (DKSSR). But Rijiju affirmed that all safety protocols are being followed and there is nothing to worry about.
"Everybody has to follow bubble protocol. India is very particular about conducting any tournament and even for the practice in the training of the athlete all the safety measures are being taken care of, nothing to worry about," said Rijiju.
Last week, fencer Bhavani Devi scripted history by becoming the first fencer from India to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. The Sports Minister said the Tokyo Olympic-bound athlete will be provided with personalised care. "We are very proud of Bhawani because she has qualified for the Olympics. We have entered fencing as a priority sports so now we will have some top-class athletes training center in India itself. After qualification we have to ensure that all these Tokyo-bound athletes will be provided personalised care," he said.
The postponed Tokyo Olympics will take place from July 23 to August 8. (ANI)