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Rio Olympics 2016: Ace shooter Abhinav Bindra to be India's flag bearer

News Agencies | Updated on: 10 June 2016, 19:44 IST

Olympic champion shooter Abhinav Bindra has been chosen to be the flag bearer of the Indian contingent at the Rio Games' opening ceremony on 5 August.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) confirmed that they have chosen the 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medallist as the country's flag bearer for the quadrennial extravaganza.

This will be Bindra's fifth Olympic appearance. His name was under consideration to bear the Indian flag at the 2012 London Olympics - alongwith star boxer Vijender Singh, tennis legend Leander Paes and decorated grappler Sushil Kumar. The honour went to Sushil Kumar.

The 33-year-old is India's only individual gold medallist at the Olympics till date. The usually reserved shooter achieved the feat when he clinched a historic gold in 10-metre air rifle event at the Beijing Games in 2008.

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) expressed its delight at the development. "He is India's only singular gold medallist, he is also in the executive board of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF). We feel it's a just decision, a wise decision and we whole-heartedly support it," NRAI President Raninder Singh told PIT.

Winner of numerous medals at top international competitions including World Championships, World Cups, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, Bindra is also one of the goodwill ambassadors of the Indian contingent for the Rio Games and is working towards inspiring the athletes to give their best in the Brazilian city this summer.


First published: 10 June 2016, 19:44 IST