Rio Olympics 2016: Indian archers to skip Opening Ceremony

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 4: Focused on winning their first ever Olympic medal, the Indian archers will give tomorrow's (August 5) much-awaited opening ceremony of the Rio Games a miss.

Olympics special site; Photo gallery; Opening Ceremony guide

"We've a hectic schedule tomorrow and we cannot afford any slip-up in the crucial ranking round. We will catch it (opening ceremony) on TV," Indian chief archery coach Dharmendra Tiwari told PTI on the sidelines of their last practice session at Sambodromo here today (August 4). (India eyes historic medal haul)

Indian archery team members Atanu Das, Laxmirani Majhi, Deepika Kumari and Bombayla Devi Laishram shooting at the Olympic Training Centre in Marica near Rio de Janerio on July 14

The opening ceremony will be held at the 78,000 capacity Maracana Stadium, two kilometres from Sambodromo. The three-hour opening ceremony will begin at 8pm (04:30 hrs IST Saturday, August 6).

The parade of the Indian athletes is slated to begin at 9.37pm local time with a 29-second slot. India's only individual gold medallist, shooter Abhinav Bindra will be the flag-bearer in his swansong Olympics and the 118-member contingent will march at 95th among the 207 countries at the march past.

The Indian contingent will be preceded by Yemen and followed by Indonesia. Having made a first round exit in London in 2012, the archers will begin their campaign with the men's individual and team ranking rounds, slated tomorrow morning, while the afternoon session will begin at 1pm (local time) when the women's individual and team rankings will take place.

Even though they have a break day on August 6 when men's team eliminations will be held, the archers have opted to skip the historic march past of the athletes.

The women's team of Bombayla Devi Laishram, Laxmirani Majhi and Deepika Kumari will be a strong contender for a medal as the trio will look to finish well in the ranking round to get an easy draw.

The archers, who are the first among the Indians to touch down in the Brazilian host city, are not staying at the Games Village in faraway Barra and instead are putting up in a hotel next to the iconic Sambodromo, the Samba street of Rio de Janeiro.


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