India’s lone judo player at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, Sushila Devi, will fine-tune her preparations for the Olympic Games in New Delhi.
Sushila Devi, who will compete in the 48kg category, will be part of a camp arranged by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.
SAI has also provided Sushila Devi with two sparring partners – Commonwealth Games 2014 Glasgow bronze medallist Mongjam Kabita Devi (48kg class) and 2018 national 52kg class champion Ningthoujam Sarda Devi.
Read: Indian judoka Sushila Devi books Tokyo Olympics berth
The Indian judoka’s teammates, her sparring partners, a physiotherapist and a masseuse have already been quarantined in the new hostel at the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports complex, a release from SAI stated.
Sushila Devi to have all arrangements in place at the TT hall
The final camp for Sushila Devi will be held in the table tennis hall where mats will be relayed.
Sushila Devi is currently at Chateau Gontier in France for a month-long training camp. The camp is organized by the Mission Olympic Cell and Sushila joined the camp after the World Judo Championship in Budapest in June. It was where Sushila Devi, ranked 46 in the women’s 48kg class, qualified for the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
The Indian judoka, along with her coach Jiwan Sharma, will leave for Tokyo from New Delhi. The Sports Authority of India will also ensure that the duo are completely vaccinated by the time they leave for Tokyo.
COVID-19 plays spoilsport for Sushila Devi
COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the Indian judo team as well when they had to pull out of the Asia-Oceania Olympic qualifiers in Bishkek after two players in the 15-member Indian camp tested positive for the coronavirus.
The withdrawal meant India lost out on direct entry for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 and had to depend on the continental quota in which only the top-ranked judoka could qualify.
Also read: Judo is a priority sport for India: Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju
Although Sushila Devi lost in the first round at the World Championships, she managed to cement her berth for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 after amassing more aggregate points than compatriot Jasleen Singh Saini.
With immense commitment to the sport and to the Tokyo Olympics, Sushila Devi made sure not to lose touch with the sport while the entire country was reeling under an intense lockdown induced by the coronavirus pandemic. The judoka invited a junior player from Manipur, her home state, and started training with her. The move was a masterstroke as Sushila Devi kept herself up with the nuances of the sport.
Later, the training helped Sushila Devi as she was able to amass much-needed points to emerge as India’s top judoka in her category and book a berth for the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Sushila Devi will be in action at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 on July 24.