NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Boxer MC Mary Kom and males’s hockey captain Manpreet Singh shall be India’s flagbearers on the Tokyo Olympics later this month, the Indian Olympic Affiliation (IOA) stated.
The joint flagbearer position for groups is a break with custom after the Worldwide Olympic Committee modified the foundations to ship a message of gender parity.
A six-time ladies’s world champion, 38-year-old Kom gained flyweight bronze on the 2012 Video games in London and he or she is hanging up her gloves after Tokyo.
Hockey skipper Singh, who hopes to finish India’s 41-year medal drought within the sport, was delighted to be chosen alongside the boxer.
“I feel it is an enormous honour to be named the flagbearer for the opening ceremony alongside the unbelievable Mary Kom,” Singh stated late on Monday.
“I’ve at all times been impressed by her journey in boxing and personally for me, it is a large second in my profession, and it’s also an enormous second for hockey.”
The boys’s hockey group gained eight gold medals between 1928 and 1980 however haven’t been on the rostrum since profitable in Moscow.
India is sending a 201-strong delegation, together with 126 athletes, to Tokyo and hopes to have all of them totally vaccinated towards COVID-19 earlier than they arrive.
The sports activities ministry on Monday requested assist from the exterior affairs ministry to assist get second doses to seven athletes coaching abroad together with 17 assist workers.
The athletes embrace javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who’s presently coaching in Sweden, 4 boxers in Italy and two wrestlers in Russia.
“It’s possible that the Indian athletes and the assist workers will get their second doses within the Indian missions in these international locations,” the Sports activities Authority of India stated in a press release.
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; enhancing by Peter Rutherford)