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Pune golfer Udayan Mane, paddler Manika Batra among Tokyo-bound athletes who get second vaccine dose

Over 1,000, including students and professionals going abroad, get both doses at Kamala Nehru Hospital as part of special civic drive

Pune-based golfer Udayan Mane, who qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and is the latest addition to the Indian contingent, recently got his second dose of the Covid vaccine at corporation-run Kamala Nehru Hospital. At the dedicated vaccination centre for athletes who are participating in the Tokyo Olympics, paddler Manika Batra was recently administered the second jab while para swimmer Suyash Jadhav is set to get the second dose on Friday.

The Olympic Games start in Tokyo on July 23.

Mane now joins Anirban Lahiri as the second Indian male golfer to make it to the Tokyo Olympics. “To be honest, the feeling is yet to sink in that I have qualified for the Olympics… I am up for the challenge,” Mane told The Indian Express.

As tournaments for several athletes were deferred due to the pandemic, Mane said it was challenging as he could not play enough to qualify comfortably. “However, I did enough in the past year and won one major event which also helped me make the cut,” he said.

With the gap between two doses of Covid-19 vaccine for Olympic-bound athletes and officials set to four weeks, civic health authorities have been engaged in organising special drives for them. According to Additional Municipal Commissioner Rubal Agarwal, as many as 1,109 beneficiaries, including students travelling abroad for higher studies, professionals who have to work in countries outside India and athletes have, till date, been administered both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Till July 1, the PMC has administered vaccines to 2,758 beneficiaries as part of the special drive. A total of 1,650 got the first dose and 1,109 got both doses after an interval of 28 days. Those who are now fully vaccinated include 755 students, 350 working professionals and four athletes.

Appreciating the efforts made by civic health authorities in organising special vaccination drives, Mane, who got the second dose on Wednesday, also urged the public to be responsible and ensure that they undergo tests and get correct treatment so that the infection does not spread. “This is a holistic effort. We have to follow protocols, wear masks and remain safe,” he said.

“Each athlete is required to enter the Olympic village five days prior to his/her event and my event is on July 29,” said Mane.

Several athletes, along with their coaches, have been training at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Sports complex at Balewadi and the special vaccination drive has helped expedite their vaccination process, said civic health officials.

Aiming for gold, says Paralympic swimmer Suyash Jadhav

Paralympic swimmer Suyash Jadhav and Swaroop Unhalkar (para shooter) are among athletes who will participate in the Tokyo Paralympic Games. Jadhav is set to get the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on Friday.

Jadhav, who presently works in Pune as a district sports officer, had lost his hands in an accident in 2007. “It was a freak accident… the iron rod I happened to touch had an open wire. Doctors subsequently had to amputate my hands below the elbow,” he said.

The son of a national-level swimmer, Jadhav braved the difficult years and trained hard to register the `A’ qualifying mark for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.

“I have been working hard to improve my timing in some of the events,” Jadhav, who had won the Gold in Asian Para Games in 2018, told The Indian Express. “I hope to win a gold medal for the country,” he said.

The Paralympic Games start in Tokyo on August 25.

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