India’s table tennis star Sharath Kamal is hoping that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be postponed owing to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The Games are scheduled to take place in the months of July and August 2020 and Kamal hopes that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will soon take a call on this.
Kamal while interacting with the media was worried about COVID-19 spreading fiercely across the world. “As an athlete, I obviously want the Olympics to happen but it should not happen. The epicentre of the virus will keep changing, first it was China, now it is Italy and Iran too is badly affected in Asia. I don’t see the scenario being safe for the Olympics to start on time.”
The 37-year-old ace recently won the ITTF Challenge Plus Oman Open and ended his 10-year drought of winning an international championship. Ever since his return from the city of Muscat, Kamal has been in the state of self-quarantine.
Talking about the Olympics he said, “Everyone is talking about social distancing but it is one thing which won’t be possible at the Olympics. Thousands of athletes would be staying in the same village.” Until the end of April there will not be any events taking place, International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) said in a statement. All the events under the aegis of the ITTF have been suspended.
“There are no events happening at the moment so no change in the rankings. If things stay the way they are, we should qualify with our rankings,” Kamal said when asked about qualifying for the Games. Sharath Kamal and his doubles partner Sathiyan Gnanesekaran recently bagged silver at the Hungarian Open and both are currently ranked 38th and 31st respectively. In the scenario where the Asian Olympic qualifiers do not take place at all, then both the Indians look well placed to qualify for the Tokyo Games by virtue of their rankings.
There is still no official announcement by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding the postponement of the Games.