Asian Games 2023: Harmanpreet Singh, Lovlina Borgohain to be India’s flag-bearers in opening ceremony
Neeraj Chopra was bestowed with this honour in the previous edition of the competition.
Men’s hockey team captain Harmanpreet Singh and ace boxer Lovlina Borgohain will be India’s flag-bearers at the opening ceremony of the Asian Games 2023 that will kick-off in Hangzhou on September 23 (Saturday). The opening ceremony of the 19th edition of the continental showpiece will be held at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium.
The Asian Games 2023 is a mega-event that will feature the best Asian competitors in different disciplines from September 23 to October 8. The multi-sport extravaganza was initially planned for 2022 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest edition of the Games will include 45 disciplines with 481 gold medals on offer. Several sports will also offer Olympic quota places for Paris 2024.
A total of 655 Indian athletes will compete in 38 disciplines in the Asian Games this time, which is the largest contingent ever in India’s history in the competition.
Hockey skipper Harmanpreet Singh is the most experienced player in the Indian men’s team and the perhaps the best drag-flicker of this generation. The 27-year-old was part of the Indian team that won the bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics and has also an Asian Games bronze (2018) and a silver from the Commonwealth Games (2022) as his accomplishments.
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He has been India’s highest scorer in the last three major tournaments and recently captained the team to an Asian Champions Trophy win on home soil.
Fellow flag bearer, Lovlina Borgohain, on the other hand, is the reigning World and Asian champion in her weight category. She is also an Olympic medallist having won bronze in Tokyo. Lovlina, 25, will head into Hangzhou eyeing her maiden Asian Games medal.
This is also be the first time that the Asian Games will witness two flag-bearers with each country mandatorily required to have one male and one female flag-bearers. According to reports, this has been introduced by the organisers Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) to push for gender parity.