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Leander Paes Begins Countdown to Tokyo Games With Throwback to His First Olympics

Leander Paes (Photo Credit: @Leander)

Leander Paes (Photo Credit: @Leander)

Leander Paes shared a photograph of himself from his first Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992.

  • News18 Sports New Delhi
  • Last Updated: July 29, 2020, 12:51 AM IST
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Leander Paes reminisced his first Olympics way back in 1992 when he began the countdown to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which were postponed by a year due to coronavirus.

Tokyo Olympics, after being postponed, is slated to be held from July 23, 2021 to August 8, 2021.

Paes had announced 2020 as his final year as a tennis professional before the start of the year but he went back on his decision after the postponement of the Games. He is now looking to represent India in Tokyo next year.

In his throwback post, he shared a photograph from the opening ceremony of his first Olympics, which was Barcelona 1992.

"As a young boy I always imagined emulating my father @olympics & to have been able to do that 7 times in a row still feels like a dream! Here's a picture from the opening ceremony of my first Olympics in Barcelona 1992. Just a year to @tokyo2020 #Tokyo2020Plus1 #StrongerTogether," he tweeted.

There are still inhibitions about the Olympics being held next year with a vaccine for Covid-19 nowhere close to being found.

Paes has cleared that if the Olympics are not held next year, he has already appeared in his final Games.

"If the Tokyo Olympics is cancelled then I have already played my last Olympics in Rio. I am not going to wait for the next Olympics," Paes had told Purav Raja in an Instagram chat in June.

However, Paes is also using the lockdown to reinvent himself and hopes it will yield results for him once tennis resumes.

"If I can use this lockdown to enhance my physical fitness which is what I have done. If I can use this lockdown to take a rejuvenated break to take my mind fresh. Last year in September 2019 I looked to retire because I was jaded from 30 years of playing this sport. So I had to reinvent myself," Paes, the winner of 18 majors, said during a webinar session organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce.

ALSO READ | Leander Paes was 'Concerned' about Olympics Postponement and His History, Legacy

"I had to read, spend time with my father. I looked to enhance my individual being so that when the lockdown opens up and I do come back to my profession, I am a new version of Leander. I am a new version of that 30 years (of playing) old athlete that's there," said Paes.

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