Many athletes cancel training plans due to Covid-19 pandemic

By Hoang Nguyen   April 8, 2020 | 02:26 am PT
Many athletes cancel training plans due to Covid-19 pandemic
Shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh is the number one hope of Vietnam in Olympic qualification for shooting. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has completely disrupted the carefully planned training schedules of Vietnamese athletes.

Table tennis player Nguyen Anh Tu, a SEA Games 30 gold medalist, was supposed to be in Thailand to play in the Olympic qualifiers from April 5 to 12. But since the tournament was postponed indefinitely because of the pandemic, everyone had to stay home.

"After SEA Games 30, we have planned for the Olympic qualifiers. But all I could do now is training on my own to stay in form. My training content also had to be altered and reduced to fit with the current situation. The most important thing now is maintaining your physics during the pandemic," Tu said.

"Not only the form but also the mentality of athletes will be affected. We will have to wait until the end of July to gather the national team again," said Phan Tuan, Head of Table Tennis Division, Vietnam Sports Administration.

The administration will also request International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) to turn the ASEAN championship in October into an Olympic qualification event.

"I hope the HCMC tournament in September and ASEAN championship in October will go on as planned. Then we will propose to the ITTF to make the ASEAN championship as a qualification tournament for the Olympics, otherwise, there will be no chance left to get the ticket to Tokyo next year," Tuan added.

The taekwondo team also had to leave South Korea right before the Taekwondo Asian Championship began, as the Covid-19 outburst started to take over in the country. The tournament, also acted as the Olympic qualifiers, has been postponed twice and according to the World Taekwondo it will be held in June.

"With a one-on-one sport like this, to compete in tournaments is quite necessary but everything has been delayed at the moment. We are making a new preparation plan for the athletes so they can achieve the best result in June," said Vu Xuan Thanh, General Secretary of Vietnam Taekwondo Federation.

The shooting team also have to make their plan from scratch after two key players, Hoang Xuan Vinh and Tran Quoc Cuong, finished their 14-day-quarantine. They currently have no idea what tournament to participate in order to qualify for the Olympics because there was no announcement from the International Shooting Sport Federation.

Vietnam had seven athletes qualified for the Olympic in Tokyo so far while the country set a target of 20.

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