Six members of the Indian contingent including flag bearer Mariyappan Thangavelu will miss out on the opening ceremony at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games as they were identified as close contact of Covid-19 positive cases. 54 Indians will feature at the mega-event, which gets underway this Tuesday.
Less than a month following India’s successful campaign at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it’s time for the Paralympians to shine at the biggest stage. A total of 54 athletes across nine sports will feature at the mega-event, which begins on 24th August, with the closing ceremony to be held on September 5.
However, as per recent reports, six members of the Indian contingent, including flag bearer Mariyappan Thangavelu will miss out on the opening ceremony after they were identified as close contacts of Covid-19 positive cases. Apart from Mariyappan, India’s Vinod Kumar will also be absent from the grand occasion, while Tek Chand will be the new flag bearer.
"Just now, we have received information from Tokyo Paralympics Games control room that six of our Paralympians are said to have been found in close contact while they were travelling to Tokyo in the flight,” said India’s Chef de Mission Gursharan Singh.
“Out of the six, Mariyappan Thangavelu and Vinod Kumar have also been found to be in close contact of the person. Unfortunately, Mariyappan - who was the flag-bearer, would not be able to join the march past at the opening ceremony. Instead of Mariyappan, Tek Chand would be our new flag-bearer,” added the official.
Even though the concerned members were in close contact with Covid-19 affected cases, the likes of Mariyappan Thangavelu and Vinod Kumar have tested negative for the virus and would be allowed to appear in their respective events.