The gas chamber that the capital of India becomes during the winter season is a troubling period for athletes training for competitions. It takes a toll on their body. Vomitting, itching, irritation in eyes, troubled breathing are the problems these athletes face during workout.
Still, Ranji Trophy and Indian Super League (ISL) matches were being played when air pollution levels were hazardous. The athletes at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium found it hard to train in adverse conditions.
Tannu Lathar, Junior National Champion in 800 metres shared what it felt like training after Diwali,
“It feels like our energy is depleted. We run out of energy even after taking just one round. There is body pain, stiffness which has caused problems in our daily workout. After Diwali we have not been able to carry out with our warm up. Breathing problem is too much. A day after Diwali we were told that we should carry on with out work out only when we are comfortable otherwise don’t.”
“We are not pushing the players one bit. Recently I gave a workout to a student to do 8 rounds of 200 metres. After 6 rounds, he complained of chest pain after which we had to stop the workout. There have been players whose workout had to be stopped in the middle because of breathing and itching problems.”
The athletes and the coach agreed that competitions should be hosted outside Delhi till conditions get better. The visibility inside the stadium was so bad that they could not see past 100 metres clearly.
Currently, Delhi are hosting Women’s World Championships. Despite boxing being an Indian sport, the international athletes are facing problems and refraining from going outside. In 2017, India hosted Sri Lanka at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium where not only Sri Lankan players but Mohammad Shami vomitted on the field too.
If that’s not a cue for tournament organisers to shift sports events outside Delhi in this period then we don’t know what is.