Mary Kom & Manpreet to be India's flag-bearers at Olympics opening ceremony
Indian Olympic Association have announced that 6-time world champion boxer M C Mary Kom and men's hockey team skipper Manpreet Singh will be India's flag bearers at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. IOA also revealed that wrestler Bajrang Punia will be the flag bearer at the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Games on August 8.
"The flagbearers for the Indian contingent of Tokyo 2020 for the opening ceremony on July 23rd are Mary Kom and Manpreet Singh." IOA President Narinder Batra said in an official letter.
"The flagbearer for the Indian contingent at the closing ceremony on August 8 will be Bajrang Punia," he further stated.
"I am very happy about being given this opportunity to be the flagbearer. I want to thank each and everyone, SAI, IOA, Sports Ministry, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It's not easy for everyone to be given this opportunity," Mary Kom told ANI.
"I don't have words to express my happiness because this will be my last Olympics and being the flag bearer, it's a really big thing. Yes, expectations give pressure it's not easy to tackle it but how to handle that pressure, I have learnt," she added.
Further talking about the Games, Mary Kom said: "I will try and handle the pressure. It's really important to perform well. I am working really hard and focusing on every aspect, will try to do my best at the Games."
Batra also confirmed that the total contingent for the Olympics would be around 126 athletes and 75 officials, and as a result, the total contingent would be around 201.
The contingent comprises 56 percent of men and 44 percent of women. It has 76 quota places and will compete in about 85 medal positions.
The Tokyo Olympics would be held from July 23 to August 8. The event was slated to be held last year, but it had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
(with ANI inputs)