New Delhi [India], May 22 (ANI): Kiren Rijiju, the Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, on Saturday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given clear direction to provide full support to the Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes.
The Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 this year after getting postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19. Rijiju also said the government is doing everything to provide support to the elite and junior athletes.
"Our athletes are happy and getting ready for Tokyo Olympics. Despite pandemic Govt is doing everything possible to support our athletes to make India proud. Hon'ble PM @narendramodi ji has given clear direction to provide full support to our elite as well as junior athletes," Rijiju tweeted along with a video.
Fencer Bhavani Devi, who created history by becoming the first Indian fencer to qualify for the Olympic Games, said she is happy with the support she is getting from everyone around.
"At the beginning of my career I felt alone but I now feel the whole country is with me in this journey, looking at the support we are getting from the government," said Bhavani in the video.
Ace shuttler PV Sindhu too thanked the sports ministry for the support she got during the course of her preparation.
"This is the right time to prepare and perform. So I would like to thank the TOPS team as they were very kind enough. Whenever I asked something from SAI and TOPS team, they said whatever things I need will always be there," said Sindhu in the video.
Meanwhile, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has informed that 19 Olympic-bound athletes have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and hence they are fully vaccinated against the virus.
131 athletes and 13 para athletes have received first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine while 17 athletes and 2 para athletes have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine as of May 20.
23 members of the coaching staff have received both doses of the vaccine while 87 members have taken first dose of the vaccine.
With Japan restricting the entry of people from India, Pakistan, and Nepal due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, questions have been raised on whether the Indian athletes will also face issues in entering the country for the Tokyo Olympics.
But IOA President Narinder Batra had made it clear that all protocols will be met and there will be no restriction to the entry of Indian athletes in the country for the Games.
Batra had said he was aware of the rising doubts among athletes after the new restriction in Japan. But went on to clear the air and said there was nothing to worry as far as India's Olympic contingent is concerned.
Also, the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Coordination Commission Chair John Coates on Friday said that the upcoming Tokyo Olympics will be safe for everyone and the organisers are now fully in "operational delivery mode." (ANI)