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5 athletes, 6 officials from Indian contingent to take part in Tokyo Paralympics opening ceremony

Illuminated Paralympic symbol is seen at the waterfront area of Odaiba Marine Park, ahead of the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, in Tokyo on August 22, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

The Indian contingent, at the opening ceremony of Tokyo Paralympics, will comprise 11 members — six officials, and 5 athletes, Chef de Mission Gursharan Singh said on Sunday.

The five athletes expected to take part in the opening ceremony are flag bearer Mariyappan Thangavelu, discus thrower Vinod Kumar, javelin thrower Tek Chand and powerlifters Jaideep and Sakina Khatun.

Out of the six officials taking part in the opening ceremony, four have been decided, which include the Chef de Mission, Deputy Chef de Mission Arhan Bagati, COVID-19 Chief Liaison Officer V.K.Dabas and Mr. Mariyappan's coach and para athletics Chairperson Satyanarayana.

There is no cap on the number of athletes for the opening ceremony but only seven Indian participants have reached Tokyo so far, Chef de Mission Singh, who is also the Secretary General of Paralympic Committee of India, told PTI.

Of those seven, two table tennis players — Sonal Patel and Bhavina Patel — have competition on August 25 and will not take part in the ceremony, during which Japanese Emperor Naruhito will declare the Games open.

"The two table tennis players have competition the next day, that is Wednesday, so they are not taking part in the opening ceremony, " said Mr. Singh

The same rule of having a cap of six officials during the opening ceremony was followed during the Tokyo Olympics which ended on August 8.

A third batch of Indian athletes is leaving on Monday but those part of it will have to serve a quarantine period before being allowed to train. India is being represented by 54 athletes, this time, the most ever.

In view of the surging COVID-19 cases in Tokyo, fans have been banned from the Paralympics, just like the preceding Olympic Games.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 9:47:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/5-athletes-6-officials-from-indian-contingent-to-take-part-in-tokyo-paralympics-opening-ceremony/article36044970.ece

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