Khelo India Games postponed amid surge in coronavirus cases

Deepankar Sharda

Chandigarh, January 11

A sudden rise in Covid-19 cases has affected the 4th edition of the Khelo India Games, scheduled to be held at Tau Devi Lal Stadium, Sector 3, in Panchkula from February 5 to 14.

The event, which was earlier scheduled in November-December (2021), has been postponed till further orders. It has been postponed for the second time.

Given the present circumstances, it was not possible to conduct these games. Hosting 10,000 athletes and officials from different states won’t be easy under the current circumstances. Official, Haryana Sports Department

Around 10,000 athletes were expected to participate in these games, scheduled to be conducted in 25 sporting disciplines. The opening ceremony was to be held on February 5. Five regional games – Gatka of Punjab, Thang-Ta of Manipur, Kalaripayattu of Kerala, Malkhamb of Maharashtra and Yogasan – were also added to the organising list.

“Given present circumstances, it was not possible to conduct these games. Hosting 10,000 athletes and officials from different states won’t be easy under current circumstances,” said an official of the Haryana Sports Department, seeking anonymity.

Sibananda Mishra, member secretary, Khelo India Games, said the fresh dates to organise these games would be announced soon.

Even if the government had planned to create a bio-bubble for young athletes, it acquires 15-day prior notice for the teams. “We were left with only 24 days. It wouldn’t be possible for teams to reach here within the next 10 days and spend the rest of the 15 days under a bio-bubble. Creating a safe bio-bubble for 10,000 athletes and other staff members is surely not an easy task. No government can manage it in this given frame of time,” he said.

Athletics meet postponed

The Chandigarh Athletics Association has postponed the State Junior & Senior State Athletics Championship due to a surge in Covid cases. The championship was scheduled to be held from January 12 to 13.

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