Tokyo | Jagran Sports Desk: A total of 26 members from the Indian contingent, including 20 athletes and six officials, will take part in the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony on Friday amid the COVID-19 concerns in Japan's capital Tokyo.

The decision was also taken keeping in mind the competitions lined up the next day.

Athletes part of the shooting, badminton, archery and hockey teams will give the ceremony a miss, as the Indian delegation is wary of exposing them to the risk of the COVID-19 virus ahead of their events lined up on Saturday.

Table tennis stars Manika Batra, Sharath Kamal, Sutirtha Mukherjee, and G Sathiyan will attend the ceremony. Eight boxers, including Amit Panghal, Ashish Kumar, and Mary Kom, will also be present at the function.

From hockey, only flag-bearer, men's team captain Manpreet Singh, will participate in the ceremony.

Mary Kom is also a flag-bearer alongside Manpreet Singh.

India has sent 127 athletes as part of its contingent to Tokyo. The overall strength of the contingent is 228, which includes officials, coaches, other support staff.

"Archery, Judo, Badminton, Weightlifting, Tennis, Hockey (men and women), Shooting, the above are not participating due to matches on 24th, practice sessions on 24th and staying safe," Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra said.

"The march past will be in Japanese alphabetical order and India's number is 21st," he added.

"Both the flag-bearers - MC Mary Kom and Manpreet Singh - are participating in the opening ceremony," Batra said.

The six officials who will be part of the event are India's Chef de Mission Birender Prasad Baishya, Deputy Chef de Mission Dr Prem Verma, Team doctor Dr Arun Basil Mathew, manager of table tennis team MP Singh, boxing coach Muhammad Ali Qamar and gymnastics coach Lakhan Sharma.

"We won't like to create a situation where our athletes are in danger of getting infected. So a decision has been taken to limit the number of athletes and officials participating in the opening ceremony within 50," IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta told PTI.

The decision was taken after a meeting between chef de mission BP Baishya and coaches here this morning.

"Those who are quarantining are also not allowed," deputy chef de mission Prem Kumar Verma had said about the athletes and officials, who have recently landed in the Japanese city.

Posted By: Subhasish Dutta