Indian athletes from seven sports, including shooting, badminton, archery and hockey, will skip the Olympic opening ceremony on Friday as the Kovit-19 worries and competitions line up the next day, with only about 30 people attending the event. From hockey, the flag-bearing, men’s team captain Manpreet Singh will be the only one to attend the ceremony.
“I did not participate in archery, judo, badminton, weightlifting, tennis, hockey (men and women), shooting, competitions on the 24th, training sessions on the 24th and being safe,” said Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Bhadra.
“The march will be in the Japanese alphabetical order of the past, with India number 21st,” he added.
IOA Secretary-General Rajiv Mehta had earlier said that more than 50 people would not attend the ceremony. Only six officers from each country are allowed to participate in the march-past. “We do not want to create a vulnerable environment for our athletes, so it has been decided to reduce the number of athletes and officials attending the opening ceremony to 50,” Mehta told PTI.
At this stage, Indian participation looks like this – hockey (1), boxing (8), table tennis (4), rowing (2), gymnastics (1), swimming (1), sailing (4), fencing (1), officials (6). The flag bearers, namely MC Mary Kom and Manpreet Singh, will be present at the opening ceremony, “said Batra. The decision was taken after a meeting between Chef de Mission PB Baishya and coaches this morning.
More than 125 athletes represent India in the Games, of which the total number is 228, including officers, coaches, other support staff and substitute athletes considering Govt-19. Along with the shooters, archers and men’s and women’s hockey teams are also scheduled to compete the day after the opening ceremony.
With Mary Kom not scheduled to compete the next day, Manpreet will lead the team to their first Pool A match against New Zealand on Saturday. Deputy Chef de Misio Prem Kumar Verma spoke about the athletes and officials who recently landed in the Japanese city. In other countries, more than 30 athletes in the UK will not attend the festival due to fears of COVID-19.
There are 376 athletes on the field for sports.
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