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Indian contingent officials attend flag-raising ceremony

world Updated: Aug 15, 2008 12:32 IST

Indians in Beijing on Friday celebrated the Independence Day with Ambassador Nirupama Rao hoisting the tri-colour at a function at the embassy.

Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi and other key IOA members also attended the ceremony this morning.

Rao read out the speech of President Pratibha Patil in the presence of Kalmadi and other IOA members, including treasurer AK Mattoo, Rowing Federation chief KP Singh Deo and Chef de Mission K Murugan.

Athletes were exempted from attending the programme, fearing it might affect their preparation.

Kalmadi later said it was a proud moment to see the tri-colour fluttering in Beijing.

"This was the second time that the Indian flag was hoisted in Beijing the first came when Abhinav Bindra won the gold.

"Abhinav's gold would go a long way to promote Olympic sports and on this day, I urge the youngsters to take up Olympic sports," Kalmadi said.