The opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic games has commenced at the Japanese capital. As always, all eyes were on the Indian contingent at the parade of nations. However, it wasn't as per the original plan since Mariyappan Thangavelu, the high jumper who was supposed to be the Indian contingent's flag bearer, was forced into quarantine, along with five other athletes after they were deemed close contacts of COVID infected individuals on their flight to Tokyo. Consequently, it was Tek Chand, the javelin thrower, who was given the honour of being India's flag bearer.
In fact, Chand was the only athlete at the parade and he was accompanied by eight officials. The video of the Indian contingent entering during the opening ceremony was shared by the public broadcaster DD Sports on their official social media handles.
"Here they are 💪#TeamIndia 🇮🇳at the #OpeningCeremony of #Tokyo2020 #Paralympics," they captioned the video.
Check out the video here:
Paralympic Games being held under the shadow of COVID-19
While the Olympic games saw India produce its best-ever performance ever at the Summer Games and eventually finish with 7 medals including a Gold medal, Indian sports fans are already looking forward to the Paralympic Games and mulling the number of medals the athletes can bring home from the Paralympics.
For the unversed, much like the Tokyo Olympics contingent, even the Paralympic contingent being sent by India for the games is their largest ever to date. As many as 54 Paralympic athletes from across nine sporting disciplines are participating and despite the COVID-19 scare, it is being learned that the players would be allowed to take part in their respective disciplines.
The positive news is that no athlete inside the village has yet contracted the infection as per the latest update received. The cases from the village are among the staff. Notably, out of the 15 cases that were confirmed on Saturday, five are among the "Games Related Persons" which includes representatives of the International Paralympic Committee, the International Olympic Committee, National Olympic Committees and international federations. The 10 remaining cases have been reported from among the Paralympic Games contractors and their workers. The officials and others who tested positive have already been put in isolation.