Because of COVID-19 concerns and competitions the next day, Indian athletes from seven sports, including shooting, badminton, archery, and hockey, will skip the Olympics opening ceremony on Friday, leaving only about 30 in attendance.
Only the men’s team captain, Manpreet Singh, will represent hockey at the ceremony.
“Archery, Judo, Badminton, Weightlifting, Tennis, Hockey (men and women), Shooting are not participating due to matches on the 24th, practise sessions on the 24th, and staying safe,” Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra said.
“The march past will be in Japanese alphabetical order, with India being number 21,” he added.
The IOA secretary general, Rajeev Mehta, had previously stated that no more than 50 people would attend the ceremony. Only six officials from each country are permitted to march in the parade.
We don’t want to put our athletes in danger of contracting an infection. As a result, a decision was made to limit the number of athletes and officials participating in the opening ceremony to 50,” Mehta told PTI.
At the moment, Indian participation is as follows: hockey (1), boxing (8), table tennis (4), rowing (2), gymnastics (1), swimming (1), sailing (4), fencing (1), officials (6).
“Both the flag-bearers, M C Mary Kom and Manpreet Singh, are taking part in the opening ceremony,” Batra explained.
The decision was made following a meeting this morning between chef de mission B P Baishya and coaches here.
According to the COVID-19, India will be represented by more than 125 athletes in the Games, with a total contingent size of 228 including officials, coaches, other support staff, and alternate athletes.
Along with the shooters, archers, and men’s and women’s hockey teams will compete the day after the opening ceremony.
While Mary Kom is not scheduled to compete the following day, Manpreet will captain the team against New Zealand in the first Pool A game on Saturday.
“Those who are quarantining are also not allowed,” deputy chef de mission Prem Kumar Verma said of the athletes and officials who had just arrived in Japan.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, Britain, among other countries, will have no more than 30 athletes participating in the ceremony.
The United Kingdom has 376 athletes competing in the Games.