Tokyo, July 23 (MNN) The 2020 Tokyo Olympics got off to a glittering start even as Indians held their collective breath and cheered on as boxer Mary Kom and Manpreet Singh led the country’s contingent out with the Tricolour held high here on Friday.
The customary Parade of Nations was held as per the Japanese alphabetical order, during which Indian contingent was at the 21st spot to walk into the National Stadium – the venue of the opening ceremony.
it was the first time in Olympic history that two flag-bearers led their nation’s contingent.
Boxers Amit Panghal, Lovlina Borgohain, Satish Kumar, Ashish Kumar, Pooja Rani, Simranjit Kaur, Manish Kaushik, swimmer Sajan Prakash, gymnast Pranati Nayak, fencer Bhavani Devi, table tennis players G Sathiyan, Sutirtha Mukherjee, tennis player Ankita Raina and the entire sailing team – KC Ganapathy, Varun Ashok, Vishnu Saravanan and Nethra Kumanan – along with six officials made up the rest of the Indian contingent at the march past.
Sound tracks from popular Japanese video game titles provided the background music during the parade.
Before entering the stadium, the participating athletes and support staff posted their pictures dressed in the official India blazers. Men wore a traditional ‘gala bandh’ (jackets with high collars) with embroidered collars while the women athletes were dressed in traditional golden ‘salwar-suits’ with jackets.
Members of the Indian contingent who didn’t participate in the parade showed their support virtually. Many of them will be in action on Saturday.
Though the stands of the National Stadium were empty due to COVID protocols, there was no dearth of cheer for the Indian athletes. One only needed to glance through the social media.