New Delhi: India’s medal hopeful wrestler Vinesh Phogat said Wednesday the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics was her ‘worst fear’ and the extended wait is going to be tougher than competing at the Games.
In an unprecedented move, the 2020 Tokyo Games was Tuesday pushed to next year due to COVID-19 pandemic that is wreaking havoc on the world.
Vinesh said she is ‘deeply disappointed’ when she came to know of the postponement.
“This was every athlete’s worst fear and it has come true. Everybody knows that competing at the Olympics is the toughest test for an athlete but I believe waiting for an opportunity to be on that stage is tougher,” Vinesh said in statement on Twitter. “I don’t really know what to say right now but inside me there is a roller-coaster of emotions,” the 25-year-old added.
Vinesh was considered one of India’s biggest medal hopes at the Rio Olympics before a freak injury cut short her Games aspirations. And she was preparing in earnest for Tokyo too, having qualified for the Games after finishing on the podium at last year’s World Championships.
“This is a very crucial time for the world and the greater sporting fraternity. Though I am very deeply disappointed, it is more important than ever to see the silver lining in this dark cloud,” Vinesh said.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had faced growing calls to postpone the Games, with 1.7 billion people across the world in lockdown to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The decision to postpone the quadrennial extravaganza was welcomed by sportspersons and federations officials alike.
“Now is the time for all of us to be stronger than ever, keep fighting these extraordinary circumstances and believe with all our might that we will overcome this coronavirus challenge. We need to summon all our reserves of determination, refocus, and work towards our goals,” said Vinesh.