Indian Olympic contingent lands, Hotel Ashoka decked to welcome it

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New Delhi, Aug 9 (IANS) Hotel Ashoka, where the medal winners of the Tokyo Olympic Games will be felicitated by the Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur later in the evening on Monday, wore a festive look with the lobby being decked with marigold flowers, ceremonial lanterns and Olympic rings.

The lobby, especially, looked resplendent, shimmering in the incandescence of the special lighting arrangements made to welcome the medals winners and other achievers in Tokyo, who landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at 5:30 pm on Monday amid tight security.

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The Olympians and their support staff, who arrived by Air India flight No. 307, will be taken straight to the Ashoka Hotel in a Volvo buses. The Security at the airport was unusually tight with multiple forces, including Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), pressed into service to manage the hundreds of fans, who descended at the airport to welcome their heroes.

Heavy deployment of forces was not only there in the premises of the IGI Airport, but also outside to restrict entry of general public.

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Earlier, a team comprising senior police officials under the Airport Police station checked Terminal-2 and Terminal-3 where a flight carrying Indian athletes landed later in the evening.

Sensing the enthusiasm of the people after the stellar performance by both men and women’s hockey teams and then, especially Neeraj Chopra, who made history by winning the gold medal in javelin throw, heavy security could also be seen at the exit gate at Terminal-3.

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Along with the Delhi Police, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and dog squad teams also took a round of the area to ensure the security of the athletes.

A senior police official told IANS, “Though general people are not allowed to gather here, but in enthusiasm a crowd may gather. Therefore, an elaborate arrangements has been made to avoid any untoward incident.”

Apart from ensuring the safety of the Indian athletes, Delhi Police also ensured strict Covid-19 norms were followed.

“A large number of people gathered to welcome Indian athletes. Though entry for the general public is completely prohibited, there is a possibility of a large gathering as people want to have a glimpse of athletes who made the country proud in the Tokyo Olympics,” said Krishna Kumar, SHO of Terminal-3, IGI.

The Exit gate was barricaded and no one was allowed to reach close to athletes.

As per reports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also interact with the players via a video conferencing during the event.

India won a total of seven medals at the Tokyo Olympics, including one gold, two silver and four bronze medals.

–IANS

akm/bsk

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