Bengaluru: Indian men's hockey team skipper Manpreet Singh on Monday expressed immense excitement upon being named the flagbearer of the Indian contingent for the opening ceremony on July 23 at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The announcement was made by Indian Olympic Association on Monday. Mary Kom and Manpreet would be the flagbearers at the Opening Ceremony while wrestler Bajrang Punia would be the flagbearer at the Closing Ceremony. "This is amazing, and I am speechless," stated Manpreet in an official Hockey India release. Manpreet becomes only the 6th hockey player to be named the flagbearer of the Indian contingent for the opening ceremony at the Olympic Games. In the past, Lal Shah Bokhari (1932 Olympics), Major Dhyan Chand (1936 Olympics), Balbir Singh Sr (1952 & 1956 Olympics), Zafar Iqbal (1984 Olympics) and Pargat Singh (1996 Olympics) have had the honour of being the flagbearers of the Indian contingent at the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. "I think it's a huge honour to be named the flagbearer for the opening ceremony alongside the incredible Mary Kom. I have always been inspired by her journey in boxing and personally for me, this is a big moment in my career, and it is also a huge moment for hockey. I thank the Indian Olympic Association for this great opportunity, and I am looking forward to the responsibility at the Opening Ceremony in Tokyo," said Manpreet. Congratulating Manpreet Singh on being named the flagbearer of the opening ceremony, Gyanendro Ningombam, President, Hockey India said: "Manpreet has been the cynosure of India men's hockey team for many years now and he has led the team to some significant victories as the captain in the past couple of years including the Asia Cup triumph and Bronze medal at the FIH World League Final in Bhubaneswar 2017 apart from playing a significant role in the team's qualification for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020." "We at Hockey India are very proud that the IOA has named Manpreet along with Mary Kom as the flagbearers of the Indian contingent for the Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. I congratulate Manpreet and also wish him and the team the very best for their campaign in Tokyo," he added.