Tokyo Olympics: Sports Minister Anurag Thakur to send off first batch of Indian athletes today

With the Tokyo Olympics set to commence in a week’s time, a formal send-off ceremony will take place on Saturday at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport as the first batch of athletes departs from India to Tokyo.

The contingent of 88 which includes 54 athletes, support staff and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) representatives will be given a formal send-off in an event by Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, and Nisith Pramanik, Minister of State, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

They will be joined by Narinder Dhruv Batra, President, IOA; Rajeev Mehta, Secretary General, IOA and Sandip Pradhan, Director-General, Sports Authority of India (SAI) at the ceremony.

Athletes and support staff in eight sports, Archery, Hockey, Badminton, Table Tennis, Archery, Judo, Gymnastics, and Weightlifting will be departing from New Delhi with the largest contingent being of hockey.

To ensure the safety of the athletes, all dignitaries attending the event will have had their COVID tests done. Only those with negative reports will be attending the event. All social distancing measures have also been put in place on this occasion.

127 Indian athletes have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, which is a record, overhauling the 117 that qualified for the Rio Olympics. Meanwhile, the Indian shooting team on Saturday arrived in Tokyo for the upcoming Olympic Games which gets underway from July 23.

Samples of the shooting contingent for the COVID-19 test have been collected and they all are waiting for the results. Ace Indian weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu also arrived in Tokyo ahead of the Olympic Games on Friday. (ANI)