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Sports Ministry not to send its delegation to Olympics

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The Sports Ministry on Friday said it has decided against sending its delegation to Tokyo Olympics to accommodate “maximum” support staff, including coaches and physios, for the athletes competing in the Summer Games.

A total of 100 Indian athletes have so far qualified and another 25 to 35 might make the cut for the delayed Tokyo Olympics scheduled from July 23 to August 8.

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“The Ministry has decided to depute maximum additional support staff such as coaches, doctors, physiotherapists, to optimize the performance of the athletes,” the Ministry said in a statement.

“Visit of any person other than athletes, coaches and support staff will be taken up only if there is any protocol requirement. In the light of the arrangement, it has been decided not to have any Ministry delegation for the Tokyo Olympics.”

As per the norms, the number of officials travelling to Olympics cannot be more than one-third of the athletes’ contingent.

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With the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Japanese government had also decided to restrict the staff accompanying the foreign ministers to 11 per head of state, while limiting the cabinet-level delegations to five people.

In a bid to support logistic support to the Indian athletes, the Ministry also decided to set up a Olympic Mission Cell in the Embassy of India in Tokyo.

“An Olympic Mission Cell is being set up in the Embassy of India in Tokyo, as a single window node to provide logistic support to the Indian Contingent bound for Tokyo, so that all possible assistance is rendered seamlessly,” the ministry said.

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The Indian contingent for the Tokyo Olympics is expected to be around 190, including over 100 athletes.

Indian athletes from 12 sports — badminton, boxing, hockey, wrestling, sailing, athletics, archery, equestrian, fencing, rowing, shooting and table tennis — have so far qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. PTI ATK BS BS

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