By Nitin Srivastava
New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju on Saturday once again echoed the sentiments that Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes will be given priority for the coronavirus vaccine followed by other athletes.
"We will take care of our elite athletes thereafter all the junior athletes will be taken care of. But the focus is on Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes, they will be given priority because safety is utmost important. If any player gets infected at this point in time it will really spoil their chances of competing in the Olympics because if you are infected then you have to follow the quarantine and take medication then your dream is over so that's why the athletes welfare is our priority," Rijiju told ANI.
Earlier, Rijiju had said that Tokyo Olympic-bound athletes will get the coronavirus jab after the vaccination of the COVID warriors.
"When the vaccination starts for others -- after Covid warriors -- we want to give it to our players first especially the Olympic-bound athletes. First of all, we have to ensure that Covid warriors get the vaccine because they are the ones who protect society. Then the next turn will come to the athletes, we come at the last. Our athletes are in the forefront," Rijiju had said.
When asked whether BCCI communicated for the vaccination, the minister said, "We are talking about all the sports and all the players but Olympic players will remain our priority because that's time-bound communication we have with every sports federation I can not just talk about one federation. Every federation is part of the fraternity and we are concerned about all the players. We have to abide by all the methodology being adopted by the health ministry."
Rijiju further spoke about Sunday's Delhi marathon and said, "This marathon is special because it's Olympic qualifier also players will set their own timing standards. It is basically the Olympic test tomorrow, runners are very confident and I hope that they will perform well." (ANI)