The postponement of the Tokyo Games has given more time for preparation: Race walker KT Irfan
MUMBAI: Race walker KT Irfan He has no complaints about the postponement of the Olympic Games for next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as he says that it will give him more time to prepare for the Tokyo Games .
30 years old Irfan qualified for his second Olympics after finishing fourth in the Asian 20km race event Walking career Championship last year.
"It's good that it ( Tokyo Games ) got postponed. We can take this as a base to train more and get closer to win a medal. Walking career is a technical event, so I will get time to focus on it more, this will help us do better next year," Irfan told PTI in an exclusive interaction.
When asked about his goal at the Tokyo Olympics, he said: My main goal is to win a medal. At the Rio Olympics I was injured, in London I also had the opportunity to win a medal.
Irfan finished 10th in the 2012 London Olympics with a national record time of 1 hour 20 minute 21 seconds. He did not qualify for 2016 Olympics.
If I work harder there is chance of getting a medal. I have mentally prepared myself and am strong with the aim of winning a medal, said Irfan.
The country is under a 21-day blockade due to the worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 90,000 people worldwide and 199 in India.
Just like any other athlete, Irfan is confined to his hostel at the SAI Center in Bengaluru as nobody can train outside.
There was a good place to train off campus where I used to train. But we are not allowed to leave campus due to the closure, the Kerala athlete said.
We have been asked to train alone and not in groups. We jump, etc., in the room, and sometimes we go out to campus to practice the walk. For now, this is what we are doing, he said.
Irfan disclosed that his family was initially unaware that he was into Athletics but then he fully supported it.
My family was not aware of a sport like this. We were financially weak, we had no money to spend. My family finally found out about my career by walking with my friends, but my family has supported me more, he added.
Irfan thanked the Adani Group for their support.
Adani Group has been very supportive, before that I had no one to help me. From training to nutrition and vitamins, everything they've provided me and that's also a phone call away, he finished.