Olympic-bound athletes from India may have to spend long hours in immigration without food or water upon arrival in Tokyo, IOA President Narinder Batra said on Saturday asking athletes to mentally prepare themselves for the same.
Batra flagged concerns after he was informed that athletes from other countries were facing these issues upon reaching Tokyo by the Indian Chef De mission on Friday. He has raised the issue with the Games’ organisers ahead of the Indian contingent’s departure.
The first batch of Indian athletes is scheduled to depart for Tokyo on July 17. More than 120 athletes are bound for the games.
“Important issues brought to my notice from Chef De Mission meeting on July 9. Same issue was highlighted in the meeting by different countries, including Czech, those who arrived at Narita airport,” the IOA president said in his statement.
According to the IOA president’s statement, teams have had to wait for four hours before the immigration process could begin and three hours to board the transport, all the while without food or water. “Germany highlighted the volunteer services are almost non-existent,” the statement read.
Batra said that he was sharing these details with the athletes so that they can be mentally prepared for what they may very likely expect at the airport until they reach the village.
“These Games are being held under extraordinary circumstances and we should try to support Japan and go through everything with a smile,” Batra said addressing athletes.
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Responding to the concerns raised by Batra, the Olympic organisers said, “The issue has been raised today (Saturday) to the organising committee. They will work on it with the government to make sure it does not happen anymore.”
In view of the rapidly rising COVID-19 cases in Japan, the Tokyo Olympics will be held under a state of emergency in Japan without spectators from July 23 to August 8.