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05 Jul 2021: Tokyo Olympics: Mary Kom, Manpreet Singh to be India's flag-bearers
Star boxer MC Mary Kom and men's hockey team captain Manpreet Singh will be India's flag-bearers at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) confirmed the development on Monday. Meanwhile, wrestler Bajrang Punia will be the flag-bearer at the closing ceremony. The Tokyo Games are set to be held from July 23 to August 8.
Fact: Here is the official statement
"The flag-bearers for the Indian contingent of Tokyo 2020 for the opening ceremony on July 23 are Mary Kom and Manpreet Singh. The flag-bearer for the Indian contingent at the closing ceremony on August 8 will be Bajrang Punia," IOA President Narinder Batra said.
Details: A look at the details
Batra also confirmed as many as 126 athletes and 75 officials will make up the contingent for the Tokyo Games. As a result, the total contingent will be around 201. The contingent comprises 56 percent of men and 44 percent of women. It has 76 quota places, while the players will vie for nearly 85 medal positions.
Fact: Olympics: Who was the first Indian flag-bearer at opening ceremony?
Sprinter Purma Banerjee was the first Indian to carry the national flag at the opening ceremony of the Olympics (1920). Meanwhile, shooter Abhinav Bindra was chosen as India's flag-bearer in the last edition of the Summer Olympics (Rio, 2016).
Honor: 'Honored to get this opportunity', says Mary Kom
"It would be a huge moment for me given that it is my last Olympics. Who knows I might even get overwhelmed," Mary Kom told PTI. She added, "I am honored to get this opportunity of leading the team out during the opening ceremony. It would be an added motivation. I promise to do my best for a medal."
Qualification: Mary had qualified for the Tokyo Games earlier this year
Six-time boxing world champion, Mary, had qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, earlier this year. She did so by reaching the semi-finals of Asian Qualifiers with a comfortable win over Irish Magno of Philippines. Mary scripted history in 2012 by winning an Olympic medal (bronze) for India. However, she couldn't gain the qualification berth for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
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