Hours ahead of the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Paralympics, flag bearer Mariyappan Thangavelu and five other members of the Indian contingent have been placed in quarantine after coming in contact with a person who had tested positive for COVID-19. According to the information here, in the last six days, none of those players have tested positive.
As a precautionary step, they will remain in quarantine. Indian para-athlete Tek Chand will replace Mariyappan as the new flag bearer for the country at the opening ceremony. India’s team chief Gursharan Singh said, “We have just received information from the Tokyo Paralympic COVID control room that six of our para players had close contact with the infected person during their journey to Tokyo.” “Out of these six, Mariyappan and Vinod Kumar were found to be the closest contacts. It is regrettable that Mariyappan would not be able to attend the inauguration ceremony while he was the flag bearer. Tek Chand will now take over the responsibility of flag bearer in his place.
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Although he was tested for 6 days on arrival in Tokyo and all his reports are negative, but the organizing committee has advised that Mariapan should not attend the opening ceremony today. The ceremony is to begin at 4:30 pm Indian time.
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Mariyappan, who will compete in the men’s high jump F42 event, is allowed to practice, but his timing will be different. The F42 category is for athletes with a lack of a leg, a difference in leg length, impaired muscle strength, or passive range of motion in the legs.