Indian athletes' participation in opening ceremony to be bare minimum: IOA
Tokyo: The participation of Indian athletes in the Olympic Games opening ceremony will be kept to a "bare minimum" in view of the COVID-19 threat, while only six officials from the contingent will be allowed to take part in the event on Friday.
The athletes who have competitions lined up the next day will be discouraged from attending the event, the country's deputy chef-de-mission Prem Kumar Verma said on Wednesday.
Indian Olympic Association (IOA) secretary general Rajeev Mehta, who is in the city, said not many will be there keeping in mind the risk of infection.
"We will try to have a bare minimum group out there. Kam se kam athletes ko utara jaega. The chef de mission and the deputy chef de mission will decide on the numbers tomorrow but our view is that the bare minimum should attend to ensure their safety in this crucial period," Mehta said.
India is being represented by more than 120 athletes in the Games with the overall contingent size being 228, including officials, coaches, other support staff an alternate athletes in view of the COVID-19.
"Six officials (from every country) are allowed at the ceremony but there is no cap on athletes. However, we have advised the athletes who have events the next day to skip the ceremony and focus on their game," Verma said after a meeting of the chef-de-missions here but did not specify which officials from India will be there at the event. "The ceremony is likely to last till midnight so it is better that they rest for their events the following day," he added.