Indian Men’s Hockey Team Skipper Manpreet Singh expressed immense excitement upon being named the Flag Bearer of the Indian contingent for the opening ceremony on 23 July at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The announcement was made by Indian Olympic Association today. “This is amazing, and I am speechless,” stated Manpreet when he heard about IOA’s decision.
Manpreet becomes only the 6th hockey player to be named the Flag Bearer of the Indian contingent for the opening ceremony at the Olympic Games. In the past, Lal Shah Bokhari (1932 Olympics), Major Dhyan Chand (1936 Olympics), Balbir Singh Sr (1952 & 1956 Olympics), Zafar Iqbal (1984 Olympics) and Pargat Singh (1996 Olympics) have had the honour of being Flag Bearers of the Indian contingent at the Olympic Games opening ceremony.
The 29-year-old Manpreet who has amassed 269 international caps further went on to state that this is a huge moment not only for him but also for Indian hockey. “I think it’s a huge honour to be named the Flag Bearer for the opening ceremony alongside the incredible Mary Kom. I have always been inspired by her journey in boxing and personally for me, this is a big moment in my career, and it is also a huge moment for hockey. I thank the Indian Olympic Association for this great opportunity, and I am looking forward to the responsibility at the Opening Ceremony in Tokyo,” added the charismatic midfielder who will be playing his third Olympic Games.
Congratulating Manpreet Singh on being named the Flag Bearer of the opening ceremony, Gyanendro Ningombam, President, Hockey India said, “Manpreet has been the cynosure of India Men’s Hockey Team for many years now and he has led the team to some significant victories as the Captain in the past couple of years including the Asia Cup triumph and Bronze medal at the FIH World League Final in Bhubaneswar 2017 apart from playing a significant role in the team’s qualification for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. We at Hockey India are very proud that the IOA has named Manpreet along with Mary Kom as the Flag Bearers of the Indian contingent for the opening ceremony at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. I congratulate Manpreet and also wish him and the team the very best for their campaign in Tokyo.”
The Indian contingent is expected to consist of 126 athletes and 75 officials.