STATE TIMES NEWS
NEW DELHI: Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Sunday said that Olympic-bound athletes and the support staff will be given priority when a vaccine is available for COVID-19.Rijiju also said that the country is expected to send the largest ever contingent of athletes to the postponed Tokyo Olympics which is scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8 next year.“Whether it is Tokyo Olympics or any big event happening, the preference will be given to Olympic-bound athletes as well as the (support) staff because it is time-bound,” Rijiju said after he flagged off the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.“Our athletes will be given preference and we will work it out with the health ministry.“We will ensure that all the international participants and organisers are given due importance in all the mechanisms to ensure their safety and security,” he added.The minister said he wants more national and international events in the coming months since the Olympic qualification events are going to happen.“Olympic qualification matches are going to happen. So, I want more sporting events to take place now, of course, while following all safety measures.“I have already told National Sports Federations and the IOA to chalk out plans for different national and international events in India. And we are giving full support. “I think this lockdown period is over, we are starting with sporting activities. Delhi Half Marathon has become a very important international event. And support is coming from Delhi government and from sports ministry, we are fully backing this event, and any other sporting event,” he said.The sports minister also said that quarantine rules will be relaxed for international events to be held in India.
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