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Narang to be India’s Chef de Mission; Sindhu to be female flag bearer

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New Delhi, July 8: London Olympics bronze medallist shooter Gagan Narang on Monday replaced Mary Kom as India’s Chef-de-Mission for the Paris Olympics where ace shuttler PV Sindhu will be the female flag bearer during the opening ceremony.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President PT Usha said the 41-year-old Narang’s elevation from deputy CDM’s position was an automatic choice in the wake of 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 said in a press release.
PTI had earlier reported that Narang was in race to become the CDM of the Indian contingent.
Six-time world champion Mary Kom had resigned from the position in April, saying she was left with no choice but to step down owing to compelling personal reasons. She was named CDM by the IOA in March this year.
Chef-de-Mission is an important administrative post as he is responsible for ensuring the welfare of the participating athletes, taking care of their needs and liaising with the organising committee.
IOA also announced that Sindhu, India’s only woman athlete to win back-to-back Olympic medals, will be the flag bearer of the Indian contingent during the opening ceremony on July 26, alongside ace table tennis player Achanta Sharath Kamal.
“I am also delighted to announce that India’s only woman to win two Olympic medals, PV Sindhu, as the female flag-bearer alongside table tennis ace A Sharath Kamal in the opening ceremony,” Usha said.
IOA had named Kamal as flag bearer in March but delayed the decision on picking the female athlete.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), in 2020, had changed its protocol to allow one female and and one male athlete of each NOC to bear the flag jointly during the opening ceremony of the Summer Games.
Mary Kom and former hockey skipper Manpreet Singh were India’s flag bearers at the Tokyo Olympics.
“I am confident that our athletes are well prepared to deliver the best results for India in Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” Usha added.
More than 100 athletes have qualified for the Paris Games, starting July 26.
Interestingly, Narang – the London Olympics bronze medallist in men’s 10m air rifle event – was tasked with overseeing India’s operations at the shooting range, which is very far from the main venues.
India will field its largest-ever shooting contingent with as many as 21 qualifying for the Games. (PTI)

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