Boxer M C Mary Kom and men’s hockey team skipper Manpreet Singh will be the country’s flag bearers at the opening ceremony of Tokyo Olympics to be held on Friday in view of the COVID-19 concerns in the Japanese capital, the Indian Olympic Association announced on Monday.
Manika Batra, Sharath Kamal, Sutirtha Mukherjee, and G Sathiyan from the Table Tennis team will attend the ceremony. Amit, Ashish Kumar along Kom are among the eight boxers who will be present at the function. Six Indian officials will take part in the opening ceremony.
In a first, India is having two flag-bearers — one male and one female — at the upcoming Tokyo Games to ensure “gender parity”. This was recently informed by IOA chief chief Narinder Batra.
“I am truly honoured to get this opportunity of leading the team out during the opening ceremony and I thank the sports ministry and IOA for naming me. It would be added motivation for me. I promise to do my best for a medal”, Mary Kokm told PTI after being named as one of the flag bearers.
“This is amazing, and I am speechless. I think it’s a huge honour to be named the Flag Bearer for the opening ceremony alongside the incredible Mary Kom,” Manpreet was quoted as saying in a Hockey India release.
In the ceremony, India is at serial number 21 in the march past. The sequence of march past is as per the Japanese alphabet and only six officials can participate from each participating nation.
A total of 127 athletes across 18 sports disciplines from India are participating in Olympics. This is the biggest-ever contingent India is sending to any Olympics. The 69 cumulative events across the 18 sport disciplines that India will participate in are also the highest ever for the country.