'Good News': Athletes Express Elation as Sports Complexes, Stadia Reopen Under Lockdown 4.0

Wrestling star Babita Phogat and Tokyo Olympics-bound shooter Abhishek Verma expressed their jubilation on the announcement by the Ministry of Home Affairs that sports complexes and stadium will reopen under lockdown 4.0.

On Sunday, sports complexes and stadia were on Sunday permitted to open but declared out of bounds for spectators by the MHA. This at least cleared the path for athletes to resume proper training.

Upon the announcement, Babita, who is also a BJP MLA, thanked the Indian government and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju for the decision in favour of the athletes.

"The government has taken a very good step keeping in mind the athletes' Olympics preparations and have reopened stadiums. For this, I would like to thank the Indian government and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju. Athletes can now start their preparations for the Olympics," Phogat said.

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Olympic-bound Verma was also happy with the announcement and shared how he was unable to practice at the shooting range because of the lockdown.

"It is a very good news for sports that the sports complexes and stadiums have been allowed to reopen. I was trying to train at the shooting range but because of the Covid-19, I was unable to do it as it was not safe to go outside and train. Whatever rules we will get from SAI or our federation, we will adhere to them and resume our training," Verma told ANI.

Another shooter who has booked her place in the Tokyo Olympics, Anjum Moudgil, released the statement that the recent move from the government will enable the athletes to "train well".

"We just got the news that the stadiums will be open for the athletes to train without the spectators. I think it is a really good decision by the government for the athletes, so that they (sic) can train well and keep themselves fit," Moudgil said in a statement.