Express News Service
CHENNAI: The World Judo Championships scheduled in Budapest, Hungary from June 6 to 13 will see participation from two Indian judokas — Jasleen Singh Saini (-66kg) and L Shushila Devi (-48kg) subject to visa procurement. The Judo Federation of India (JFI) has decided to send only two entries in the wake of travel restrictions across the globe due to the pandemic.
It also decided against sending the bigger contingent as any Covid positive case could lead to the ouster of the team from the event as was happened during the Asia-Oceania Championships in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan last month. “Both Shushila and Jasleen have a chance to qualify for the Tokyo Games as the judoka who leads the points chart after the event will get the quota,” said an IJF official.
“Only 69 points separate the duo with Shushila ahead with 989 points,” he added. The federation has recently applied for the visas after getting clearance from the government. “In the next four-five days, we will know the exact status. These are uncertain times so it’s difficult to say anything with surety. Even if we get visas, availability of flights and travel restrictions at that time can impact our plans,” added the official.
Coach Jiwan Sharma will accompany the duo for the championships. As per the Covid protocols in Hungary, every member from the participating team has to present at least two negative Covid certificates on arrival in Budapest. The tests are required to be made a maximum of five days before arrival and 48 hours apart. They will be tested again on arrival.
Athletes will undergo fourth test 24 hours before their weigh-in. Separate events offer different ranking points with the World Championships presenting the opportunity to earn maximum points. In case the team doesn’t compete in the event, Shushila will qualify for the Games.
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