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New Delhi: Six times World Champion and 2012 Olympics Bronze medallist boxer M C Mary Kom and men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh will be the India’s flag bearers at the opening ceremony of Tokyo Olympics, the Indian Olympic Association announced on Monday.

And wrestler Bajrang Punia, will be the flag bearer at the closing ceremony on August 8.

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

This will be the first time India is having two flag-bearers — one male and one female — at the Olympics to ensure ‘gender parity’.

“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 Kokm 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,” she added.

“This is amazing, and I am speechless. I think it’s a huge honour to be named the Flag Bearer for the opening ceremony alongside the incredible Mary Kom,” Manpreet said in a Hockey India release.

The country’s lone individual Olympic Gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra was the flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The Tokyo Games are scheduled to open on July 23 and over 100 Indian athletes would be gunning for podium finishes at the showpiece.



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