London 2012 Olympics: Wrestler Sushil Kumar to carry flag at opening ceremony

first_imgBeijing Olympics bronze medal winning wrestler Sushil Kumar will lead the Indian contingent at the opening ceremony of the London Games on July 27.The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) named Sushil as the flag-bearer for the contingent on Sunday, even as a number of names were doing the rounds.Amongst the others who were in contention were India’s only individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, Beijing Games bronze medallist Vijender Kumar and Leander Paes, who won a tennis singles bronze at the Atlanta Games.”It’s a matter of great pride for me that such an honour has been bestowed upon me. I feel privileged to lead the Indian contingent at the Olympics which is considered as the biggest sporting event in the world,”Sushil told Mail Today on Sunday, minutes after arriving from the US where he was training with the wrestling team.Sushil, who rose to prominence after winning the bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics, said that being the flag-bearer will only motivate him to do better in London.”I am aware that the whole country would be expecting a medal from me and I have been training very hard so that I don’t disappoint fans.”There are a lot of other athletes in the Indian contingent and having been chosen as the flag-bearer will only motivate me to perform better at the London Games,”said the 66kg category wrestler.Sushil has a long list of achievements to his credit. Along with the bronze in Beijing, the gold medal at the 2010 World Championships in Moscow is the highlight of his career so far.advertisementThe 29-year-old Sushil also won a gold at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and is a four-time Commonwealth champion.At the Olympics, the wrestling events begin on August 5.The five-member Indian wrestling team is scheduled to leave for Belarus on Thursday night where they will train for two weeks before they fly out to London in the first week of August.However, Sushil will make a two-day visit to London for the opening ceremony. He will fly out from Belarus on July 26 and join his wrestling team after a couple of days.”It’s a matter of just two days and with the kind of training that we have had, I don’t expect it to affect my preparation. Being the flag- bearer will only motivate me,”he added.Acting IOA president Vijay Kumar Malhotra said that Bindra’s father had officially informed them that he will not be able to lead the Indian contingent, while Paes has already had the honour at the Sydney Olympics.”Abhinav has his event the day after the opening ceremony and the same is the case with Vijender who also has his bout on July 28,”said Malhotra.rahul.rawat@ mailtoday.inlast_img

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