Jordanian Judoka stays in shape amid lockdown by lifting little sister - GulfToday

Jordanian Judoka stays in shape amid lockdown by lifting little sister


Hadeel Alami trains with her sister in Amman. Reuters

With no access to gym equipment during the lockdown in Jordan, Olympic hopeful judoka Hadeel Alami has hit upon an unorthodox way to stay in peak condition — using her little sister as a weight during her training routine.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the global sporting calendar to a standstill, including the postponement of the Tokyo Games to 2021.

“I came up with a training regimen that includes lifting my sister on my back while doing squats. I tried by convincing her this was a game... now whenever I mention training she gets excited,” the 20-year-old Alami said.

“She loves it, she thinks I’m playing with her.” Alami has also transformed water bottles into dumbbells and lifts her couch instead of weights.

Athletes have found unconventional ways to keep themselves fit during the lockdown to curb the spread of the flu-like virus that has infected more than 1.8 million people globally causing 113,849 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.

Jordan has seen a spike of coronavirus cases since the first early last month, with more than 350 infected.

Olympic qualifiers were originally set to take place in the country last month but have now been postponed indefinitely.

“In the beginning I was upset, I was eagerly waiting for the qualifiers, I was close to qualifying for the event. When it was postponed I was upset. I stopped training and took a day off,” Alami said.

“But then I began thinking: why should I be negative? This year might enable me to train more and work harder to be better prepared. I began to think positively... maybe it was postponed for a good reason.”

Meanwhile, the chief executive of the Tokyo Games said on Friday he can’t guarantee the postponed Olympics will be staged next year - even with the long delay.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued an emergency declaration this week to battle the virus, putting the country under restrictions after it seemed it had avoided the spread.

“I don’t think anyone would be able to say if it is going to be possible to get it under control by next July or not,” Tokyo organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said, speaking through an interpreter at a news conference conducted remotely. ”We’re certainly are not in a position to give you a clear answer.”


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