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Tokyo Olympics qualifiers will be held post-lockdown: IOA president Narinder Batra

Photo by Philip FONG / AFP

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra on Saturday said the Tokyo Olympics qualification events, postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be held once the health crisis is resolved and asked the National Sports Federations (NSFs) to prepare a list of such tournaments in their respective sports.

"The qualification events which were postponed will happen again at revised dates once this virus issue is resolved. Draft tentative planning for that. Please share details of all the qualification events yet to happen in your sport," Batra wrote in a letter to the NSFs.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach on Thursday had a conference call with its members in the aftermath of the postponement of the Olympics. Batra is an IOC member as well as the president of International Hockey Federation.

Batra also said the IOA and NSFs need to plan on the extension of contracts of the coaches whose tenures were to end this year. The contracts of many coaches, including those from abroad, were to end by August when the Tokyo Games were to end.

"We now need to plan for: Extension of Contracts for HPD (High Performance Director), coaches, support staff etc. till end of 2021 as many such contracts are ending in 2020, the process needs to start as soon as possible," Batra said.

"Draft training calendar for Athlete's preparation for 2021 Olympics. Please update on the present location of the athletes and their health," he said in the letter with copies marked for Sports Ministry and Sports Authority of India.

He said under the present circumstances, it will be very difficult to give any confirmations "but this is just to get everyone on same page".

With 74 Indians already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in seven sports, the IOA was expecting the number to rise to more than 120.