April 13, 2020 / 1:07 PM / 2 months ago

Judo: Jordanian Judoka stays in shape during lockdown by lifting little sister

(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.

Hadeel Alami, a Jordanian judo practitioner, raises her six-year-old sister as a part of her training at home during the curfew imposed by the government amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Amman, Jordan, April 9, 2020. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

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 told Reuters.

“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.”

Reporting by Mohammed Ramahi, Muath Freij; writing by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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