Disappointed with the Olympic postponement, I don't know what will happen next year: Bhawana Jat

NEW DELHI: Most Athletes in India they are considering the Olympic postponement as more time available for training but not for the walker Bhawana Jat , who is not quite sure that the Games will go ahead even in 2021 after the chaos unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic this year.

Bhawana, who qualified for the Olympics in 20km race walk after pulling off a shock win at the National Championships in February, feels that the Athletes are staring at an uncertain future due to the pandemic, which has caused over 100,000 deaths globally.

I was disappointed that the Olympics were postponed because I was in very good shape and I hoped to do well. The Asian Championship (to be held in March in Japan) was an ideal platform to put myself to the test internationally. That was also postponed due to COVID-19, he told PTI.

Now it is not known when the competitions will restart, the season for this year has ended in this situation. It is a relief that I have already qualified for the Olympics.

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I don't know what will happen next year. I will have to start from scratch. I don't know if the Olympics will be held next year, he added.

The 24-year-old is currently based at the Sports Authority of India Centre in Bengaluru where there is no outdoor training due to the lockdown. She is the only woman race walker at the centre which also has eight other male Athletes of the same event.

We do weight training, core strength training or jump or work with the medicine ball. I walk inside the room for 15 or 20 minutes, he said.

Our coach ( Alexander Artsybashev ) has told us not to rest too much and be active all the time unless we are sleeping at night. So, I play carrom for one hour and then dance to Hindi songs with other Athletes from other sports. That is how we keep moving," she added.

Hockey players are also currently staying at the SAI Center Bengaluru.

Bhawana had recorded a national record 1: 29.54, within the Olympic qualifying time of 1:31:00, to win gold at the National Championship held in Ranchi in February.

From the moment I practiced this sport, I have been dreaming of an Olympic medal. That is my ultimate goal. But as of right now, I'm not thinking about the Olympics, I'm thinking about when this pandemic will end, he said.

She said the Athletes follow strict social distancing rules at the SAI Centre.

No one can leave and no one comes to the center from outside. While we stand in line to eat in the mess, we have to be two meters away. To get things like shampoo or toothpaste, we have to tell the people at the hostel to bring them for us.

Previously, at least four apprentices could sit at the dining room table, but now only two can sit there.

Bhawana comes from the family of a poor farmer in the village of Kabra in the Rajsamand district of Rajasthan, adjacent to Bhilwara, considered a model district in the country's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

When asked if she was anxious for her parents' well-being in Rajasthan, she said: I will not say exactly that, but of course I am concerned about them, but I cannot do anything. I can't go unless the lock is lifted.

I talk to them on the phone every day. Our village is not affected, but they will have to go out to agriculture. My parents will not tell me anything about small matters in the family. They will think it will affect me.