For Preethi, a weightlifter, the COVID-19 lockdown has created a new challenge. Having won the silver at the state level Weightlifting Championship in 2019 under the 49 kg category, she has to now move to the 55 kg category.
"This is because my body weight has increased during the lockdown,” she says. “Since I lack exercising equipment and due to being inactive, I have put on weight. On normal days, I used to train with a load of 40-50 kg in Chennai’s Jawaharlal Nehru stadium. After the stadiums were closed, I now train at home. Here I have loads upto 20 kg. That keeps me fit but it doesn't make me a competition-ready.”
Hundreds of sportsmen and women are fighting a physical and mental battle due to the lockdown. Unable to practise and maintain fitness levels, and with uncertainty looming over events, whether state-level, national or international, including the Olympics, they fear a loss of competitiveness, opportunities and other benefits, including jobs.
A lot of estimates have forecast losses in billions of dollars to the industry, coming from ticket sales, media rights and sponsorships.
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