PV Sindhu and Sharath Kamal Named Flag Bearers for 2024 Paris Olympics; Gagan Narang Appointed Chef-de-Mission

Featured & Cover PV Sindhu and Sharath Kamal Named Flag Bearers for 2024 Paris Olympics; Gagan Narang Appointed Chef de Mission

Ace shuttler PV Sindhu will be the female flag bearer for India during the opening ceremony of the 2024 Paris Olympics, a momentous occasion for the nation. Simultaneously, London Olympic bronze medallist shooter Gagan Narang has replaced the legendary boxer Mary Kom as India’s Chef-de-Mission for the Summer Olympics, a significant leadership role. This change was announced by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Monday.

PT Usha, the IOA president, explained that Narang’s elevation from the deputy Chef-de-Mission position became an automatic choice following Mary Kom’s resignation. “I was looking for an Olympic medallist to lead our contingent, and my young colleague is an apt replacement for Mary Kom,” PT Usha stated in a press release.

In addition to this announcement, PT Usha confirmed that table tennis ace Sharath Kamal would join badminton superstar Sindhu as India’s flag-bearers for the Paris Games. “I am also delighted to announce that India’s only woman to win two Olympic medals, PV Sindhu, will be the female flag-bearer alongside table tennis ace Sharath Kamal in the opening ceremony,” she added.

The process of selecting Narang as the Chef-de-Mission highlighted his prominent position in Indian sports. Narang emerged as the frontrunner for this prestigious role ahead of the Summer Games. Mary Kom, a six-time world champion, had stepped down as Chef-de-Mission in April due to personal reasons, having been appointed to the position by the IOA in March. The role of the Chef-de-Mission is crucial, as it involves ensuring the welfare of the participating athletes and liaising with the organizing committee at the Summer Games.

To provide some context, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) changed its protocol in 2020 to allow one female and one male athlete to bear the flag jointly during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. This change was significant in promoting gender equality and representation at the Games. At the Tokyo Olympics, boxing icon Mary Kom and former hockey captain Manpreet Singh had the honor of being India’s flag bearers.

Looking ahead to the Paris Olympics, India will field its largest-ever shooting contingent, with 21 Indian medal contenders having secured their spots for the Games. This remarkable achievement underscores the country’s growing prowess in shooting sports and raises hopes for a strong performance in Paris.

PT Usha expressed her confidence in the preparedness of Indian athletes for the upcoming Games. “I am confident that our athletes are well prepared to deliver the best results for India in Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” she said, emphasizing the hard work and dedication of the athletes as they gear up for the global event.

The selection of PV Sindhu and Sharath Kamal as flag bearers, along with the appointment of Gagan Narang as Chef-de-Mission, signifies a strategic move by the IOA to enhance India’s representation and performance at the Paris Olympics. With the athletes’ rigorous preparation and the support of experienced leaders, India looks forward to making a significant impact on the Olympic stage.

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