Leander Paes has backed IOA’s decision to appoint Sushil Kumar as the India’s flag-bearer at the London Olympics opening ceremony, saying that the Beijing bronze-medallist wrestler deserves the honour.
Shooter Abhinav Bindra, the country’s first individual gold medallist at the last Olympics, was reportedly the preferred candidate of the IOA but since his 10m air rifle event is scheduled three days after the opening ceremony on July 30, the shooter wanted to focus on his preparations.
Similarly, boxer Vijender Singh’s weigh-in is scheduled for July 28, while Paes has already led the Indian contingent in the 2000 Sydney Games. Thus, the IOA decided that Sushil should do the honours this time.
"I have already been the flag bearer in the opening and closing ceremony. So I think it is really fair and I think that wrestler Sushil Kumar is well deserving of it," Paes was quoted as saying by a tv channel.
London: Archery team manager Paresh Mukherjee said though the hype surrounding his team is justified after the recent performances, previous records would be of no value on the day of the competition.
"Hype about the archery team is based on logic. Deepika Kumari is world’s no 1, while the women’s team is ranked No. 2 and the men’s team is 5th in the world. But everything in sports does not go by statistics," he said.