No event in sight, athletes short of motivation

No event in sight, athletes short of motivation

Shivpal Singh at NIS Patiala. Photo: Shivpal Singh/Instagram

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 1

After no training for over two months owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, elite Indian athletes are struggling as they make efforts to get into shape again.

Following all safety guidelines, training has already resumed at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) here, but since no sporting contest is likely in the near future, they are struggling to find motivation.

I have started feeling better now. I am working hard to get the body back into shape. Still, a long way to get six packs again from the family pack! — Shivpal Singh, Javelin thrower

Sport had been completely suspended across the world, and only in the last few weeks have a few football leagues in Europe resumed.

However, Indian athletes have no immediate event to look forward to. Some athletes have gained weight and are facing the effects of loss of training. Athletes are experiencing a decrement in fitness factors such as strength and endurance.

Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, among the few athletes still training at the NIS campus, said he had put on “a little” weight, adding: “Currently, I am focussing on fitness. Lightweight training for anatomical adaptations and some aerobic workout for basic endurance is the main focus.”

Javelin thrower Shivpal Singh, who too has qualified for the Olympics along with Chopra, said that he had initially struggled when training resumed. “I have started feeling better now. I am working hard to get the body back into shape,” he said.

“Still, a long way to get six packs again from the family pack,” he grinned, pointing at his belly.

Parveer Singh, national athletics coach, said that athletes were in a preparatory phase to regain strength and endurance.

“As there is no competition any time soon, the preparatory phase will be a bit longer,” said the coach. “Once a competition is announced, we will get into the in-season phase.”

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