New Delhi: Skepticism is sweeping through the world but the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Thursday backed the IOC's assertion that the upcoming Tokyo Olympics will weather the COVID-19 pandemic and be held on time without a glitch.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Tokyo Games organisers are adamant that the Games will start on July 24 as scheduled despite the coronavirus pandemic crippling health care systems and destroying economies across the world.
"The coronavirus is creating havoc throughout the world but we are hopeful it will be contained in one or two months. It has already been controlled in China, the epicenter of the disease, and we are expecting the Olympics to be held without any hindrance on its scheduled time," a senior IOA office-bearer told PTI.
"But having said that IOC is our parent body, we will have to abide by what the IOC decides. If the IOC says the Olympics will go on we will have to participate irrespective of any threat," he said.
The IOA admitted that country's preparations have been hit hard but should the Games happen, it is nonetheless expecting an unprecedented double digit medal haul from the athletes.
"Yes, it is true our preparations have been hit with many Olympic qualifiers, Test events and preparatory camps abroad being postponed or cancelled because of the coronavirus," the official said.
"But it is not just India, every country is facing the same situation so, the impact is same for every competing nation. So, our expectations still remain the same -- 10 or more medals in Tokyo," he asserted.
He said the IOA is closely monitoring the situation with all the stakeholders in the country. "We are monitoring all our athletes' preparations as well as their well-being. We are also closely working with the Government of India, Tokyo Games orgainsers as well as IOC in this tough time," he said.