The first batch of athletes from India’s Olympic contingent arrived in Tokyo on Sunday, clearing the exhaustive Covid-19 related protocols at the airport before entering the Games village on a day when two sportsperons staying there tested positive for the virus.

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A 88-strong contingent from India, which left last night after a grand send-off, was joined by the shooters and boxers who were training in Italy and Croatia till Saturday. All athletes underwent COVID testing at the airport and were found to be negative. They will start training from Monday, the Sports Authority of India said in a press release.

“The infection control protocol has been briefed to all the contingent members and COVID testing kits have been distributed to the respective coaches,” SAI added.

The delegation was received by Dr Prem Verma, India’s deputy chef-de-mission and COVID Liaison Officer at the Games.

The group travelling from India included archers, badminton players, table tennis players, both the men’s and women’s hockey teams, and qualifiers from judo, gymnastics, and swimming among others.

They landed in the Japanese capital aboard a chartered Air India flight from New Delhi.

“It was a six hour wait at the (Tokyo) airport where we underwent COVID-19 tests but that was expected. All came out clear and we have checked into the Games village. All smooth so far,” a contingent member told PTI.

The group included stars such as world champion shuttler P V Sindhu, six-time world champion boxer M C Mary Kom, world no.1 boxer Amit Panghal, world no.1 archer Deepika Kumari and TT player Manika Batra.

The Indians arrived on a day when two athletes staying at the Games village and one at a designated hotel were confirmed COVID positive by the organisers, who insisted that they are prepared for some cases given the influx of people in the city.

The Indians were duly masked, some of them even wore face shields as they went through the paperwork at the airport before boarding buses to the Games Village.

The total number of Games-related COVID cases have now risen to 55 as per the OC records.

The Games will be held behind closed doors as infections increase in the Japanese capital, which is recording more than 1,000 cases per day for the past few days.

Despite the scepticism, IOC President Thomas Bach has insisted that the Games pose “zero risk” for the residents of Olympic village and the Japanese people in general.

On Saturday night, newly-appointed sports Minister Anurag Thakur gave a formal send-off to the contingent at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi.

Some Indian athletes reached Tokyo a few days earlier from their respective training bases abroad.

India’s lone weightlifter in fray, Mirabai Chanu entered Tokyo on Friday from her training base in St Louis, USA.

India will be represented by 120 athletes at the Games.

Four Indian sailors – Nethra Kumanan and Vishnu Saravanan (laser class), KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar (49er class) – were the first from the country to reach Tokyo from their training bases in Europe. They started training on Thursday. Besides, the rowing team has also reached the city.

The ones still to arrive include wrestlers, led by Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat, tennis star Sania Mirza along with the rest of the team and the athletics contingent, which features strong medal hope javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra.