Mary Kom, Manpreet, Bajrang to be India's flagbearers at Tokyo Olympics

Wrestler Bajrang Punia will be the flag bearer at closing ceremony on July 8.

Indian boxer Mary Kom.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Boxer M. C. Mary Kom and men's hockey team skipper Manpreet Singh will be India's flag bearers at opening ceremony of Tokyo Olympics, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) confirmed on Monday.

Wrestler Bajrang Punia will be the flag bearer at closing ceremony on July 8.

IOA president Narinder Batra 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.

"It would be a huge huge moment for me given that it is my last Olympics. Who knows I might even get emotionally overwhelmed," Mary Kom told PTI after being named as one of the flag bearers.

"I am truly honoured to get this opportunity of leading the team out during the opening ceremony and I thank the sports ministry and IOA for naming me. It would be added motivation for me. I promise to do my best for a medal," the six-time world champion added.

The contingent comprises 56 per cent of men and 44 per cent of women. It has 76 quota places and will compete in about 85 medal positions.

The first Indian to carry the national flag at the opening ceremony of the Games was 400m sprinter Purma Banerjee at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium.

Seventeen athletes have carried the Indian flag at the opening ceremony of the Games, with eight of them being Olympic medallists.

Abhinav Bindra, the country’s only individual gold medallist, and Lal Shah Bhokhari, Dhyan Chand, Balbir Singh Sr. and Zafar Iqbal were also among India's flag bearers.

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 inputs from ANI and PTI

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :