Prepare for a long wait at Tokyo airport on arrival: IOA chief for Olympic athletes

IOA President Narinder Batra on Saturday highlighted new concerns Indian athletes linked to the Olympics could face upon arrival in Tokyo, including spending long hours at immigration without food or water.

Batra was told of the inconvenience athletes from other countries face upon landing in Tokyo by Indian Chief of Mission BP Baishya on Friday. He raised the issue with the Games organizers before the Indian contingent left.

“Important issues were brought to my attention at the Head of Mission’s meeting on July 9. The same issue was highlighted at the meeting by different countries, including the Czech Republic, those who arrived at Narita airport. “Batra said in a statement.

“They have to wait 4 hours before the start of the immigration process and they waited three hours to board the transport. No food or water was provided.

“Germany stressed that volunteering services are almost non-existent,” the statement said.

The first group of Indian athletes bound for the Olympics is due to leave for Tokyo on July 17. More than 120 athletes are bound for the Games.

“By sharing with all of you so that you are mentally prepared for what you can most likely expect at the airport until you reach the village, these Games are taking place under extraordinary circumstances and we must try to support Japan and go through it all with a smile, ”Batra said.

Responding to concerns raised by Batra, organizers said: “The issue was raised today at the organizing committee. They will work on it with the government to make sure this does not happen again.

Baishya said athletes should be prepared to spend long hours at the airport after landing in Tokyo for testing, immigration and other clearances.

“… We talked about the issues we are facing and likely to face in Tokyo and the organizers have promised to look into them. But one thing is clear, our athletes will have to stay at Tokyo Airport for 5-6. hours after arrival, ”Baishya told PTI.

“The first thing after arrival will be the Covid tests of the entire Indian contingent. Then we have to complete the immigration and other required processes. After that the Covid test results will come and only after that the Indian contingent will be allowed to board the bus. ”

He said the sailors will be among the first group to leave for Tokyo.

“Without the Covid test results, we cannot leave Tokyo airport. Then, the entire contingent will have to quarantine in the village for three days.

“The first contingent will leave on July 17th and the sailing team will be part of it. Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu will reach Tokyo on July 15th or 16th from the United States. She will have no problem as she is from the United States. . ”

Given the raging COVID-19 cases, the Tokyo Olympics will be held under a state of emergency in Japan without spectators from July 23 to August 8.

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