The flag-bearer riddle is getting curiouser by the day and the joke here is that the person who would hold the Tri-colour aloft at the Asian Games opening ceremony on November 12, will be announced on the 13th.
The Indian Olympic Association secretary-general, Randhir Singh, and chef de mission, Abhay Chautala, said on Thursday that Saina Nehwal had been kept on "standby" to do the honours if rifle shooter Gagan Narang said no, owing to his tiring schedule on November 13. "Saina is on standby and we have asked Narang to clear the air by this evening," said Singh, adding, "though holding the national flag is a great honour and Gagan would be more than keen to hold it during the opening ceremony, I understand his predicament. He has his competition on the next day and holding the flag aloft can leave ones shoulders stiff.
"I experienced this problem at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games where holding the flag left my neck a little stiff. It (holding the flag) can affect your performance in a sport like shooting," Singh averred.
Out of bounds
The ceremony on November 12 on the banks of the famed Pearl River will be out of bounds for a majority of the international media --- including India --- as every country has been allotted a miniscule number of coverage passes.