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Indian sailors first to arrive in Tokyo, others to fly in batches

Indian athletes arriving in Tokyo ahead of the start of Olympics. Photo: SAI

Tokyo, July 13 (MNN) The Indian contingent for the Tokyo Olympics began arriving in Japan, with the sailing team the first to reach the host city on Tuesday.

Four Indian sailors — Nethra Kumanan, Vishnu Saravanan, KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar – had left for Tokyo a day earlier along with their coaches.

The SAI said that other qualified Indian athletes will be leaving for the Games in the coming days, starting with weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, who is currently training in the US. She will fly directly to Japan on July 15.

Since quarantine rules for players and staff arriving from India are stricter in Japan, many teams have decided to head to Tokyo 2020 directly from their training camps outside India. The Games begin on July 23.

The Indian pistol and rifle shooters, who are undergoing final preparations in Zagreb, Croatia, will depart on July 16.

The boxing contingent is also training outside India, at a camp in Assisi, Italy. The nine boxers along with their support staff leave for Tokyo a day after the shooters on July 17.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has decided to send athletes from India in two batches, with the first group scheduled to leave on July 17.

The first batch will have the men’s and women’s hockey teams, archers, swimmers and badminton players, according to a media report.

The second group, involving athletes and golfers, will leave on July 23. Golf tees off on July 29 while athletics events start a day later.

The Indian wrestling team has been training separately, with the men (Bajrang Punia, Ravi Dahiya and Deepak Punia) in Russia, women (Vinesh Phogat and Anshu Malik) in Estonia and the other two in India.

However, Anshu Malik returned to India on Monday to meet her parents before her debut Olympics and will join Seema Bisla and Sonam Malik in Sonepat.

All the wrestlers will leave for Tokyo on July 26 or 27 from their respective bases while ace javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra will be flying from Uppsala, Sweden on July 26.

Wrestling events at the Games will begin on August 1.

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