The wait is finally over, the pandemic-hit Olympic Games is finally set to start after a delay of a year. The quadrennial games start from Friday, July 23 and will run till August 8. Thousands of athletes from all around the world have converged in the Land of the Rising Sun and will compete for glory in the grandest stage of all in the world of sports. India is being represented by more than 125 athletes in the Games with the overall contingent size being 228, including officials, coaches, other support staff and alternate athletes in view of the COVID-19.
The delayed Summer Games in Tokyo will be held under a state of emergency and will be without spectators due to the global pandemic. Earlier this month, Japan decided that participants would compete in empty venues to minimise health risks. This has cast an effect on the opening ceremony as well, which will have none of that splendour or grandiosity usually attached to it. The opening ceremony will mostly be a sobering performance with not all athletes present at the teams’ parade. The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 will be held at the National Stadium in Tokyo.
Indian athletes from seven sports, including shooting, badminton, archery and hockey, will skip the Olympics opening ceremony on Friday because of COVID-19 concerns and competitions lined up the next day, leaving just about 30 in attendance at the event. From hockey, only flag-bearer, men’s team captain Manpreet Singh, will participate in the ceremony.
The likes of paddlers Manika Batra, Sharath Kamal, swimmer Sajan Prakash, boxer Manish Kaushik, and gymnast Pranati Nayak will be part of the Indian contingent at the opening ceremony of the Games.
Here is a look at India’s schedule at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 on the opening day of the Games - Friday (July 23). Only archers will be in action for India on Day 1.
5.30 am: Deepika Kumari in women’s individual ranking round
9.30 am: Atanu Das, Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav in men’s individual ranking round
4.30 pm: Opening Ceremony