How Olympic golf hopefuls are keeping themselves busy at home

V Krishnaswamy New Delhi | Updated on March 25, 2020

Anirban Lahiri

Welcome the IOC decision to postpone Tokyo Olympics to 2021

India’s Olympic contenders in both men’s and women’s section, while staying at home during the national lockdown, have welcomed the IOC decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics to 2021.

The men’s section has numerous contenders, but among women’s, Aditi Ashok (38th) and Diksha Dagar (56th) are certain. Rashid Khan and Udayan Mane are the top Indians at 185 and 223 at 54th and 57th and Top-60 qualify for Olympics. Many others are also in the race.

They include Shubhankar Sharma (283), Shiv Kapur (287), Ajeetesh Sandhu (354), S Chikkarangappa (383) and Aman Raj (408). Further, Gaganjeet Bhullar (418) and Anirban Lahiri (497) can also come in.

Aditi, certain to become the first Indian to lock her place in an Olympics, said: “It’s disappointing to have to wait another year for the Olympics because as golfers we play individually and rarely get that opportunity. But I’m glad the decision has been made. Hopefully, when we do compete, we need not worry about Covid-19.”

‘Staying at home not easy’

“For someone used to practising and playing, staying at home is not easy, but I have finished reading the Harry Potter series again and completed a 1,000 piece puzzle.”

Diksha, in isolation since her return from Women’s South African Open, one of the last events before the postponements, said: “Given the situation I understand and go by the decision. As a certain probable for 2020, it is natural to feel little disappointed, but I will look at it as an opportunity to train harder and be better and put myself in medal contention.”


Rashid said: “This is not in our hands. Whenever the Games happen, I will be ready. In the meantime I am playing PS4 with my nephew and do martial arts for fitness.” Lahiri, Mane and Viraj Madappa are busy in the kitchen as they love cooking. Lahiri said: “I have put a video of making some special egg dish and will put up some Bengali stuff, too.”

On postponement, he said: “Better sense has prevailed. It was inevitable. Right now I’m just focussed on getting my family and loved ones past this crisis. When golf resumes, I will put all my efforts into getting on to the team.”

Sharma said: “The decision was somewhat expected and understandable. Right now there are other vital issues. As for the Indian team, it is an open race and anyone can make it. If I can show the form I showed two years ago I will stand a chance to make it.”

Chawrasia, who played at 2016 Olympics, added: “My form was coming back, but I understand the postponement. I hope I can get my form to the highest levels when action returns and make it to Tokyo.”

Mane finds cooking relaxing, as does Madappa, who added: “I have not touched the clubs for 10 days.”

Published on March 25, 2020

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