Thakur was accompanied by Minister of State for Sports Nisith Pramanik, Director General of Indian Sports Authority Sandip Pradhan and officials from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), including President Narinder Batra and Secretary General Rajeev Mehta .
An 88-member contingent, which includes 54 athletes in addition to support staff and IOA representatives, left for the Japanese capital on Saturday evening to compete in the COVID-stricken Tokyo Games, which will begin in a week. July 23.
The eight disciplines included archery, badminton, table tennis, hockey, judo, gymnastics, swimming and weightlifting.
Hockey, made up of male and female teams, is the most important of all disciplines. The hockey teams received a warm welcome as they entered the IGI terminal, with airport staff cheering on both sides as they crossed.
The only Indian weightlifter in contention, Mirabai Chanu, reached Tokyo on Friday from his training base in St Louis, United States.
Chanu was accompanied by national coach Vijay Sharma and assistant coach Sandip Kumar, while another assistant coach Pramod Sharma left from the nation’s capital with the first group.
The boxers left Italy while the shooters reached Tokyo on Saturday, after spending a long time training and competing in Croatia.
India will be represented by a contingent of 228 people, including 119 athletes, at the Tokyo Olympics, which will take place under strict health protocols and without spectators in the wake of the raging pandemic.
Four Indian sailors – Nethra Kumanan and Vishnu Saravanan (laser class), KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar (49er class) – were the country’s first to reach Tokyo from their training bases in Europe. They started training on Thursday.
The Indian shooting contingent registered at the Games Village on Saturday.
Separately, the rowing team has also reached Tokyo, while the boxing contingent has departed from its training base in Italy and is expected to reach the Japanese capital via Amsterdam on Sunday morning.