The sports ministry said on Friday it had decided not to send its delegation to the Tokyo Olympics to accommodate “maximum” support staff, including coaches and individuals, for athletes competing in the summer games.
A total of 100 Indian athletes have qualified so far, and another 25 to 35 could make the cut for the delayed Olympics in Tokyo, scheduled from July 23 to August 8.
“The ministry has decided to hire as many support staff as possible, such as coaches, doctors, physiotherapists, to optimize the performance of athletes,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The visit of a person other than athletes, coaches and support staff will only be undertaken if there is any protocol requirement. In the light of the agreement, it was decided that there would be no delegation from the ministry for the Tokyo Olympics.”
According to the norms, the number of employees traveling to the Olympic Games cannot be more than one third of the contingent of athletes.
With the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Japanese government had also decided to limit the staff accompanying foreign ministers to 11 per head of state, while limiting cabinet-level delegations to five.
In an effort to support the logistical support of Indian athletes, the ministry also decided to set up a cell for an Olympic mission at the Indian Embassy in Tokyo.
“An Indian mission cell is being set up at the Indian Embassy in Tokyo as a single-window node that provides logistical support to the Indian contingent heading to Tokyo so that all possible assistance can be provided seamlessly,” the ministry said.
The Indian contingent for the Tokyo Olympics is expected to be around 190, including more than 100 athletes.
Indian athletes in 12 sports – badminton, boxing, hockey, wrestling, sailing, athletics, archery, equestrian sports, fencing, rowing, archery and table tennis – have so far qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.