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Mary Kom, Manpreet Singh to be India’s flag bearers at Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony

Bajrang Punia, a silver medallist at the 2018 World Wrestling Championships and one of India's biggest medal hopes, will be the flag bearer at the closing ceremony on August 8.

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New Delhi: Six-time world boxing champion MC Mary Kom and men’s hockey team skipper Manpreet Singh will be India’s flag-bearers at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) announced on Monday.

Bajrang Punia, a silver medallist at the 2018 World Wrestling Championships and one of India’s biggest medal hopes, will be the flag bearer at the closing ceremony on August 8.

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The IOA has communicated the decision in this regard to the organising committee of the Tokyo Games.

According to IOA, Indian contingent for the Olympics would be around 126 athletes and 75 officials.

The contingent comprises 56 per cent of men and 44 per cent of women.

In a first, India is having two flag-bearers – one male and one female — at the upcoming Tokyo Games to ensure ‘gender parity’.

Earlier last year, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had made provisions for flag-bearers from both genders at the opening ceremony.

‘The IOC Executive Board decided that there should be — for the first time ever — at least one female and one male athlete in every one of the 206 teams and the IOC Refugee Olympic Team participating at the Games,’ IOC chief Thomas Bach had said.

The Tokyo Games are scheduled to run 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.

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