Only twenty athletes will represent India during the march past at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. India has fielded the biggest ever Olympic contingent at the Games, starting tomorrow in the Japanese Capital. A big majority of the players will miss the pride of marching at the opening ceremony.
Shuttlers, shooters, archers and tennis players have all been excluded from the opening ceremony. Men’s and hockey teams, except for co-flag bearer Manpreet Singh, will also skip the prestigious event and so do weightlifter Mirabai Chanu and judoka Shushila Devi.
However, six officials will accompany the 20 athletes at the opening ceremony.
London Olympics bronze medallist MC Mary Kom will share the honour of carrying the Tri-colour at the symbolic event. The duo will be joined by the table tennis quartet, sailing team and boxing squad will also be present, along with gymnast Pranati Nayak and swimmer Sajan Prakash.
The likes of 2016 Olympics silver medallist P. V. Sindhu, the world number one archer Deepika Kumari and tennis star Sania Mirza, the first Indian woman to play in four editions of the Olympics, will miss the opening ceremony. None of the shuttlers, shooters, archers and tennis players will be in attendance, while both the hockey teams will also skip the event. Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, one of India’s brightest medal prospects, and judoka Shushila Devi will also be among the absentees since they are both are in action the following day, states a report by the Sportstar.
With local fans banned from attending the opening ceremony, the organisers have also restricted the number of officials from each nation to six. The opening ceremony will be held at the Olympic Stadium from 4:30 pm IST (8 pm local time) onwards.
The following athletes will attend Opening Ceremony: 1. Sutirtha Mukherjee 2. Manika Batra 3. G. Sathiyan 4. Sharath Kamal 5. K.C. Ganapathy 6. Varun Thakkar 7. Vishnu Saravanan 8. Nethra Kumanan 9. Bhavani Devi 10. Pranati Nayak 11. Sajan Prakash 12. Simranjit Kaur 13. Lovlina B. 14. Pooja Rani 15. Amit Panghal 16. Manish Kaushik 17. Ashish Kumar 18. Satish Kumar 19. Mary Kom – Flag Bearer 20. Manpreet Singh – Flag Bearer.
The Covid-19 pandemic had delayed the quadrennial event by one year as the Games were deferred from the original schedule of 2020. The organisers have put strict Covdi-appropriate protocols in place for the Games.