Tokyo Olympics: The first batch of the athletes from India’s Olympics contingent arrived in Tokyo on July 18, 2021.
Excited and cautious in equal measure, the athletes cleared the exhaustive COVID-19 related protocols at the airport. They entered the Games village on the same day when two sportspersons staying there had tested positive for COVID-19.
The Sports Authority of India in a press release stated that the first batch consisting of 88 athletes underwent the COVID-19 testing at the airport and were found to be negative.
It further added that the infection control protocol has been briefed to all the contingent members and COVID-19 testing kits have also been distributed to the respective coaches.
The delegation in Tokyo was received by India’s deputy Chef-de-mission and COVID Liaison Officer, Dr. Prem Verma at the games.
India at Tokyo Olympics will be represented by a 228-strong contingent, including 119 athletes.
— #Tokyo2020 for India (@Tokyo2020hi)
July 18, 2021
• The Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, on the night of July 17, gave a formal send-off to the contingent at the Indira Gandhi International Airport amid loud cheers, good wishes, and claps.
• As per contingent members, it was a six-hour wait at the airport where they had to go through COVID-19 tests but it was expected. All came out clear and were checked into the Games Village.
• The athletes were also duly masked and some of them even more face shields as they went through the paperwork at the airport before boarding the buses to the Games Village.
Who from the Indian contingent has arrived for Tokyo Olympics?
• The group traveling from India included badminton players, archers, both the men’s and women’s hockey team, table tennis players, and qualifiers from gymnastics, judo, and swimming among others.
• The Indian Contingent, which left on the night of July 17 after a grand send-off, was joined by the shooters and boxers who were training in Croatia and Italy.
• The group that has arrived in Tokyo included stars such as six-time world champion boxer Mary Kom, world champion shuttler PV Sindhu, world no. 1 archer Deepika Kumari, world no. 1 boxer Amit Panghal and TT Player Manika Batra, among others.
• Some Indian athletes also reached Tokyo a few days earlier from their respective training bases abroad.
• Four Indian sailors Vishnu Saravana and Nethra Kumanan (laser class), Varun Thakkar, and KC Ganapathy (49er Class) were the first from India to reach Tokyo. The Indian rowing team has also reached the city.
• The ones who still have to arrive include wrestlers, led by the roundtable Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat, athletics contingent, which features strong medal hope javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and Tennis star Sania Mirza along with the rest of the team.
COVID-19 cases reported at Tokyo Game Village:
The athletes from India’s Olympic Contingent arrived on a day when two athletes staying at Games Village and one at a designated hotel were tested to be COVID-19 positive by the organisers. However, the organisers insisted that they are prepared for some cases given the influx of people in the city.
On July 17, 2021, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the athletes’ village by the Tokyo 2020 CEO. He informed that a visitor from abroad from was involved in organizing the upcoming games tested positive.
The total number of games-related COVID-19 cases has now gone to 55 as per the OC records.
IOC President, Thomas Bach, despite the rising cases, insisted that the Games pose Zero Risk for the residents of the Olympic Village and the Japanese People in general.
After being postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tokyo Olympics 2020 is all set to begin from July 23, 2021, to August 8, 2021.
The event will mostly be held without any spectators and under extremely strict quarantine rules.