Paralympics: Mariyappan Thangavelu in Quarantine, Tek Chand to be India’s Flag Bearer
Mariyappan Thangavelu, an Indian Paralympic high jumper has been put into quarantine after he was found in close contact with a person who was tested positive for COVID-19. Consequently, Mariyappan Thangavelu has been replaced by Tek Chand as the country’s flagbearer for the Tokyo Paralympics opening ceremony.
However, as the ace-jumper and five more athletes came in contact with a Covid-19 positive person during their travel to Tokyo, they have been sent off to quarantine. As per an official statement by the Paralympic Committee of India, javelin thrower and gold medalist Tek Singh have been assigned the role of the flag bearer at the ceremony.
"On his flight to Tokyo, Mariyappan came in close contact with a covid positive foreign passenger. Though on reaching the village he has been tested for 6 days and all his reports are negative, but the Organizing Committee has advised not to make Mariyaapan participate in the Opening Ceremony today," said the statement by Gursharan Singh, Chef de Mission for Tokyo Paralympics who also added that along with Mariyappan, Vinod Kumar and four other para-athletes will also keep away from the ceremony starting 4.30 pm IST.
India has won 12 medals, including four gold, and as many silver and bronze medals in the Summer Paralympics since its debut at the 1968 Games.
This year, India has sent its largest-ever contingent with 54 Indian athletes competing across nine sports. Indian para-athletes will participate in archery, para canoeing, athletics, shooting, table tennis, swimming, badminton, powerlifting, and taekwondo.