Rajeev Mehta, secretary-general of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), recently announced that India would send a minimum number of athletes to the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. ‘We don’t want to put our athletes at risk of contracting an infection. We are holding a meeting at the moment to decide on the exact number but will keep it to a minimum to avoid infection,’ Rajeev Mehta said.
The athletes who are scheduled to compete the next day have already been told to skip the event. The performances of 10m air pistol shooters Saurabh Chaudhary, Abhishek Verma, Apurvi Chandela and Elavenil Valarivan, who have competitions on the first day, will skip the ceremony along with Manu Bhaker, Yashaswini Singh Deswal, Deepak Kumar and Divyansh Singh Panwar will be shooting on the second day.
Indian team in Tokyo will consist of eight rifle shooters, five pistol shooters, two skeet shooters, six coaches and a physiotherapist. The day after the opening ceremony, boxers, archers, as well as men’s and women’s hockey teams will compete. The flag-bearers for the opening ceremony will be men’s hockey captain Manpreet Singh and six-time world boxing champion Mary Kom.
The following day, Mary Kom is not scheduled to compete, but Manpreet will be leading the side against New Zealand in Pool A. India is represented at the Games by 125 athletes with 228 in total, including officials, coaches, other support staff and alternate athletes.