In recent news, Harmanpreet Singh and Lovlina Borgohain, two of India's most prominent athletes, will be representing India by being our flagbearers at the opening ceremony at Hangzhou Asian Games on September 23.
Singh is the captain and skipper of India's men's hockey team. Lovlina, a female boxer, brought home India's third bronze medal for boxing from the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
The 19th Asian Games
Both Harmanpreet Singh and Lovlina Borgohain will be India's flagbearers at the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games being held in Hangzhou, China, on September 23. This is the first time that the Asian Games will be having two flag-bearers for each participating country in the opening ceremony, much like the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games, in a push for gender equality.
India's chef-de-mission for the Games, Bhupender Singh Bajwa, said that this was the first time in the history of the Games that the participating countries would have two flag-bearers, one male one female. In a statement, Bajway said that this was a gesture to "promote gender equality," stating that "Harmanpreet is among the leading male hockey players in the world while Lovlina is a reigning world champion."
India's Leading Sports
Bajwa further commented on why Singh and Borgohain were picked, stating that "among the squads that have already reached Hangzhou, boxing, hockey, and table tennis are the most significant disciplines, so we picked the best from hockey and boxing."
"The choice was not too difficult," he added.
In her Asian Games debut, Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain will be playing her first preliminary boxing match for the 75kg category on September 26, 2023- three days after the opening ceremony on September 23. However, the Indian national men's hockey team don't have a three day break- they will be playing their first match against Uzbekistan on September 24 at 8:45 am.
Certain members of the team have expressed their wish to not appear for the opening ceremony of the Asian Games, due to how close it is to their first match and their need for rest after practice. On this, Bajwa said that they were aware of how draining the schedule could be, and had to go with the choices they had made, stating that "the decision (to appear as flag-bearer) was taken with Harmanpreet's consent."
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