Only 28 members, comprising six officials and 22 athletes, of the Indian contingent will participate in the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday after the organisers suggested restricting the number of athletes attending the curtain-raiser due to Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the numbers shared by the office of the Indian contingent at the Games Village, hockey will have only one representative in men's team captain Manpreet Singh, who will be a flag-bearer alongside boxer MC Mary Kom.
Boxing will have the most number of members in the ceremony with eight participants followed by table tennis and sailing with four. Rowing has two participating members while gymnastics, swimming and fencing have one each.
Athletes from archery, judo, badminton, weightlifting, tennis, shooting and hockey will not be part of the ceremony due to their events happening on the same day or the next day.
The march-past will happen in the Japanese alphabetical order. India's number is 21st in the march-past list as conveyed by the organisers.
The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics will take place in the Olympic Stadium on Friday.
The stadium, which will host major track and field events as well as the gold medal match in women's football, is also scheduled to host the closing ceremony on August 8.
Other contingents are also sending restricted number of athletes to the opening ceremony with Australia restricting theirs to 50 and Britain to 30.
Lack of enthusiasm
The Olympic Games, though the world's biggest sporting extravaganza being held in Tokyo, there is clear lack of enthusiasm.
According to media reports, the local public is largely indifferent which is understandable, considering that the Games are being held in the times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"For Tokyo locals, concern has been replaced by indifference. A thriving city enthusiastically hosting a global sporting event is a sight to behold. Right now, Tokyo is not one. That is hardly the fault of the Japanese. With about 80% of the population opposed to the Olympics, fans banned from attending events and Covid numbers surging, it is little wonder the streets are not alive with joy. But the silence - and an absence of signage, flags and adornments - is stark," said a report in The Guardian newspaper.
Those arriving in Tokyo for the Games have to go through multiple checkpoints. At each of these checkpoints, paperwork is inspected, QR codes scanned and questions are asked.
The visitors like journalists and officials will be confined to their hotels, venues and the main press centre for the next 15 days. A GPS-linked app has been placed on every phone and if the visitor goes beyond the activity plan that he mentioned at the time of arrival, he runs the risk of being deported.
The visitors are allowed only a 15-minute visit to the approved mini-marts in their immediate vicinity. "In Tokyo, that [joyous] atmosphere is conspicuously absent," added the report.
Even the local newspapers had raised the issue recently with Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun questioning the feasibility of hosting the Games.
"If the highly divisive Tokyo Olympics are staged without the public's blessing, what will have been gained and lost?," it had questioned.