Confusion over Tokyo Olympics start date after IOA message | Tokyo Olympic Games News

PUNE: The Olympics are only 16 days away, but Indian athletes to Tokyo do not yet know their departure plan. While two days ago Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra announced that the first batch of athletes would leave on July 17, athletes and national federations received a Whatsapp message stating that the first batch could leave on July 14, subject to the authorization of the Tokyo Olympic Games Organizing Committee. The message is signed by Batra and IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta.
As per the Tokyo Games travel guidelines, athletes reaching Tokyo must take the RTPCR Covid test for seven days prior to departure. “As the archery competitions start from July 23, we assume we would be in the first batch. However, we have not received any official communication from the IOA regarding the starting plan. We have received a message today saying that the first batch could leave on July 14 but it is still not confirmed, “an official of the archery federation told TOI.
“If our archers leave on July 14, they have to start their tests from July 7, otherwise they won’t be allowed in. If they start their tests on Wednesday and leave on July 17, then that would be three more days of testing. “These are complicated times and good planning was necessary. It’s not just about getting on the plane, there are so many formalities to be completed,” added the official.
An archery team coach said their training plan was also going to go haywire. “If we leave on the 14th we will lose the training that we have planned here. We have no idea when we will be allowed to train in Tokyo,” said the coach.
While track and field competitions are scheduled to start July 30 and track athletes don’t expect to start in the first batch, there is no official word on this. “We are told that athletes will be notified of the start 24 hours prior to their departure,” said a track and field coach.
TOI tried to contact Batra but the messages and calls went unanswered.

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