Tokyo Paralympics: Javelin thrower Tek Chand named new flag bearer of India for opening ceremony

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Aug 24, 2021, 11:06 AM(IST)

Tokyo Paralympics Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The Rio 2016 Gold Medal winner Mariyappan and five others of the Indian contingent were quarantined until further notice, as someone near their seats on the flight to Tokyo tested positive for COVID-19. 

Javelin thrower Tek Chand will be India's flag-bearer during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Paralympics 2020 as Thangavelu Mariyappan was quarantined after he came in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person on the flight to Tokyo. 

The Rio 2016 Gold Medal winner Mariyappan and five others of the Indian contingent were quarantined until further notice, as someone near their seats on the flight to Tokyo tested positive for COVID-19. 

"Mariyappan Thangavelu our Flag Bearer, with 5 others, have been quarantined until further notice, as someone near to their seats on their flight to Tokyo tested COVID+! However, none of them have turned +ve since the past 6days! Tek Chand will now be our Flag Bearer," Deputy Chef de Mission (CDM) Arhan Bagati tweeted a video. 

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The Paralympic Games is scheduled to be held between August 24 and September 5 and the opening ceremony of the event will take place on August 24. 

The event is all set to begin after a year-long delay due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Just like the Olympics, the event will be marked by strict virus rules. 

Gursharan Singh, the secretary-general of the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI), informed that as Mariyappan and other athletes have returned regular negative results for COVID-19, they will be allowed to train for their competitions. 

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"Instead of Mariyappan our athlete Tek Chand will be the flag bearer. However, Mariyappan and Vinod Kumar although have been found in close contact, are found to be COVID negative since last six days while they are in Village," said Gursharan Singh in the video. 

"They will also be allowed to participate and compete in their respective events. They will also be able to go for the practice, they will have to adhere to strict COVID guidelines which will ensure adhering the same," he added. 

A total of 54 para-athletes from across nine sports disciplines will be featuring in the Paralympic Games. This is India's biggest ever contingent to Paralympic Games. 

(inputs from agencies)

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