Amid loud cheers, claps and many of good needs at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, athletes from the eight disciplines of archery, badminton, desk tennis, hockey, judo, gymnastics, swimming and weightlifting boarded the flight to Tokyo.
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Notwithstanding the gloom surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the IGI witnessed unprecedented scenes and the hockey groups, arriving from Bengaluru, and the desk tennis contingent led by A Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra, had been accorded a heat reception on coming into the terminal, with the airport employees lining up on each side as they walked by means of.
Such was the euphoria surrounding the ship-off, that the Government of India organized for a particular Olympic Contingent Clearance immigration line for the Tokyo-bound members.
Beside Thakur, the ship-off ceremony was attended by Minister of State for Sports, Nisith Pramanik, Sports Authority of India Director General Sandip Pradhan and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) officers, together with President Narinder Batra and Secretary General Rajeev Mehta.
A contingent of 88 members, which incorporates 54 athletes apart from assist employees and IOA representatives, departed for the Japanese capital on Saturday night time to take part in the COVID-hit Tokyo Games, which is able to start in per week’s time on July 23.
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Hockey, consisting of each the males’s and girls’s groups, is the largest amongst all disciplines.
“How’s the josh? It should be high and that should be the spirit of Indian athletes,” Thakur mentioned.
“There are 135 crore Indians and you are blessed to be representing the country, you should be proud. The blessing of the entire nation is with you and everyone is hoping for your success.”
Reiterating the message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Thakur mentioned the athletes should not take any stress whereas representing the nation at the showpiece.
“As the PM said, please go with a free mind and don’t take stress. It is the mental toughness, how strong you are here at the time of your event, it’s a battle of nerves. If you are strong enough you are going to perform stronger,” he mentioned.
“135 crore Indians are with you, just remember this. Go with a big heart and wherever you go try to unfurl the tricolour and come out victorious.”
“I would also like to say that this is not the end of the road. There are many more tests in life waiting for you. The entire country is looking at you and the entire world is looking at you.”
The sports activities minister additional mentioned the authorities tried its greatest to offer assist to the athletes of their Olympic endeavour and if any shortcoming continues to be there, he would apologise for that and resurrect it in the future.
Batra promised the Olympic-bound athletes due recognition if they arrive out victorious in Tokyo.
“When you come back victorious, you will get what you deserve. All the best.”
Some of the Indian athletes have already reached Tokyo from their respective coaching bases overseas.
India’s lone weightlifter in fray, Mirabai Chanu, reached Tokyo on Friday from her coaching base in St Louis, USA.
Union Minister of I&B and Youth Affairs & Sports Shri @ianuragthakur, in presence of MoS Home Affairs and Youth Aff… https://t.co/ySS0YDCN4D
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Chanu was accompanied by nationwide coach Vijay Sharma and assistant coach Sandip Kumar, whereas one other assistant coach Pramod Sharma left from the nationwide capital together with the first batch.
The boxers left from Italy whereas the shooters reached Tokyo on Saturday, after finishing an extended coaching-cum-competitors stint in Croatia.
India will probably be represented by a 228-robust contingent, together with 119 athletes, at the Tokyo Olympics, which will probably be held below strict well being protocols and with out spectators in the wake of the raging pandemic.
Four Indian sailors — Nethra Kumanan and Vishnu Saravanan (laser class), KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar (49er class) — had been the first from the nation to succeed in Tokyo from their coaching bases in Europe. They began coaching on Thursday.
The Indian capturing contingent checked in at the Games Village on Saturday.
Besides, the rowing workforce has additionally reached Tokyo, whereas the boxing contingent has left from its coaching base in Italy and is scheduled to succeed in the Japanese capital by way of Amsterdam on Sunday morning.
While these Indian athletes coming into Tokyo from different elements of the world might have prevented the stricter COVID-19 restrictions on reaching the host metropolis, for positive they’ve missed out on the rousing farewell their compatriots obtained at IGI.