Elite athletes resume sports activities at SAI’s Patiala, Bangalore centers More sports news

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New Delhi: Indian athletes such as javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and sprinter Hima Das began outdoor training at the Sports Authority of India in Patiala on Wednesday after being held in their hostel rooms for more than two months due to coronovirus-forced lockdown.

SAI said the training, which resumed at its Bengaluru center, was in strict compliance with the government’s health guidelines and the standard operating procedure unveiled last week.

“The elite athletes housed at the National Center of Excellence in Patiala and Bengaluru have resumed sports activities from Wednesday,” SAI said in a statement.

The National Center of Excellence (NCOE) Patiala, also known as the National Institute of Sports (NIS), is currently home to weightlifters, including those who qualified for the Tokyo Olympics and noted track and field athletes such as Neeraj and Hima .

The Bengaluru center hosts senior men’s and women’s national hockey teams and race walkers like Katie Irfan and Bhavna Jat.

SAI said, “As per government guidelines, all necessary safety measures of hygiene and social security are being maintained by athletes in the field of sports.”

“The equipment is being self-cleaned by athletes after use and no two athletes are allowed to use the same equipment during sports activity.”

SAI further stated that at both centers, athletes trained in staggered schedules to ensure social distance.

“Hands, shoes and kits are being vaccinated at both centers.”

After the nationwide lockout by the government on March 25, athletes from all SAI centers across the country were locked in their rooms to control the COVID-19 epidemic.

But the players breathed a sigh of relief when the government on May 17 permitted the use of stadiums and sports complexes without spectators and, under strict guidelines, allowed athletes to return to outdoor training.

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