Vinesh Phogat Upset over Delay in Vaccinating Athletes With Tokyo Olympics So Close

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Olympic-bound wrestler Vinesh Phogat is disappointed over the delay in giving Covid-19 vaccine to athletes.

Vinesh, who has qualified in the women’s 53 kg freestyle event, said having vaccines close to the Tokyo Olympics will be no good.

“We are waiting for the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) to take a call, but nothing has happened. Taking a vaccine at this stage will be a big advantage because it will build the immune system in the body,” said Vinesh.

“After having vaccines, there could be mild fever and stiffness of the arm. It would also disrupt training. Keeping all the side-effects of the medicine in mind, the Olympic-bound athletes should be given vaccines right now,” she added.

During online interaction with the media on Friday, Vinesh said she doesn’t want to become the centre of controversy by using her connections to get vaccines.

Last month, World Championships bronze-medallist and Olympic-bound wrestler Bajrang Punia who has qualified in the men’s 65kg freestyle event got the Covid-19 vaccine on his own.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the sports ministry have been discussing the issue of vaccines for Olympic-bound athletes since February but there is no concrete plan yet.

Six wrestlers, including three in the women’s group, have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. The World Olympic qualifier in Sofia from May 6 to 9 is the last qualifying tournament for Tokyo Olympics.

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