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Mary Kom, Manpreet Singh Flag Bearers at Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony; Mariyappan Thangavelu to Lead at Paralympics

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) also announced that Bajrang Punia will be the flag bearer at the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Games.
Mariyappan Thangavelu Tokyo Paralympics

Mariiyappan Thangavelu, Rio Paralympics gold medallist, will lead a 24-strong contingent at the Tokyo Paralympics to be held from August 24 to September 5.

Boxer MC Mary Kom and Indian men’s hockey team skipper Manpreet Singh will be India’s flag bearers at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on July 23, while para high-jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu will have the honour at the Tokyo Paralympics on August 24.

"The flag bearers for the Indian contingent of Tokyo 2020 for the opening ceremony on July 23rd are Mary Kom and Manpreet Singh," IOA President Narinder Batra wrote in an official letter released on Monday. He also announced that wrestler Bajrang Punia will be the flag bearer at the closing ceremony of the Olympics on August 8.

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Batra confirmed that the total Indian contingent for the Olympics would be 201, comprising 126 athletes and 75 officials. The contingent comprises 56 percent men and 44 percent of women with athletes making it via 76 quota places. They will compete in 85 events.

Meanwhile, the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) picked Rio Paralympics champion Thangavelu to lead the contingent in the Games opener. 

Thangavelu, the champion in the T42 high jump event at the Rio Paralympics, will defend his crown at the August 24 to September 5 showpiece meet. 

"Mariyappan Thangavelu will be the flag-bearer of the Indian contingent at the Tokyo Paralympics. The decision was taken at the executive committee meeting of the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI)," Para-Athletics Chairman R Satyanarayana said.

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The 25-year-old Thangavelu, a Khel Ratna recipient, leads the 24-strong contingent picked by the selection committee for the Paralympics.

A total of 72 para-athletes, including 18 women, took part in the selection trials held in New Delhi on June 29 and 30. India were granted 24 slots by the World Para Athletics.

Besides Thangavelu, medal favourites in the squad include javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia (F46 category), and world record holder Sandeep Chowdhury (F42-44/61-64 javelin) and Sumit Antil (F44/64 javelin).

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