Kiren Rijiju, the Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports on Monday said that he is confident of the Tokyo Olympics going ahead this year and he urged people to not fall prey to rumours which are doing the rounds regarding the Games.

Tokyo Olympics are set to take place from July 23-August 8 this year. The Games were scheduled to go-ahead last year, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Don’t go with rumours, Olympics is finalised, how we will do it process and protocols are to be decided, otherwise the date and everything is finalised,” Rijiju told ANI.

Talking about the walkathon organised on International Women’s Day, Rijiju said: “We organised this walkathon on International Women’s Day here at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, all our sisters and youth volunteers are participating in it. Secretary Youth Affairs, Usha Sharma ji is leading the walkathon, many volunteers have come up to take part in this walkathon and we want to give a message that women can do anything in society and women empowerment is a priority for us.”

“If you see in the Olympics and in the various international events, Indian women are performing exceedingly well, we are giving equal platform, when women perform it feels much better and good because we want that women of this country should excel,” he added.
On Saturday, Rijiju 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 of utmost importance. 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 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.” (ANI)