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Indian athletes start arriving in batches in Rio for Olympics

July 28, 2016 18:56 IST

IMAGE: India's ace shooter Jitu Rai in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: Facebook.

With little over a week left for the beginning of Rio Olympics, the Indian athletes have started arriving in batches here for the sporting extravaganza.

Most of the disciplines have begun sending their teams in batches and others are expected over the next few days.

At the dining hall during breakfast on Wednesday, Chef de Mission of the Indian contingent, Rakesh Gupta had a short and pleasant meeting with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, who was there to see the Olympic Village.

While meeting Gupta, the IOC President inquired about the preparation of the Indian athletes.

"How is the Indian team shaping up? I am expecting some good performances. It is nice to see Indian athletes among the early arrivals. I wish them all the best for the Games," Bach said.

Earlier, the IOC chief attended the morning meeting of all Chef de Missions and was given a report of all the preparations on the eve of the Games.

Speaking about the accommodation facility and food at the Village, Gupta said: "There are lots of vegetarian dishes and more are expected to be added in the next few days, as the number of athletes arriving increases.

"The rooms are alright but some last minute work is still going on and is expected to be fine over the next couple of days."

"The Indian team has been housed next to hosts Brazil at the Village, which overlooks a lovely mountain. The common facilities are excellent with a swimming pool right next to our building. The Olympic Plaza and the Gym are close enough.

"The athletes have just arrived and will have enough time to acclimatise themselves and get ready for the main competition," he added.

The early arrivals have begun settling down into the spanking new Olympic Village, which is still getting finishing touches.

Among the early arrivals have been shooters, including Jitu Rai, Prakash Nanjappa, Gurpreet Singh, Kynan Chenai, Manavjit Sandhu, Apurvi Chandela and Ayonika Paul; walkers Khushbir Kaur, Sapana Punia, Sandeep Kumar, Manish Rawat; shotputter Manpreet Kaur; boxers Shiva Thapa and Manoj Kumar.

Many of the coaches and the doctors have also arrived.

"Since many athletes are competing or training abroad, they are arriving in batches," Gupta said.

"Some of the athletes, whose events are later on will arrive in the first week of August."

This is the largest contingent to leave Indian shores for an Olympic Games and will participate in 15 disciplines.

India won six medals, two silver and four bronze for its best-ever haul at the 2012 London Games.

IMAGE: Indian wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Yogeshwar Dutt (right) depart for Georgia on Thursday for a training camp.

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