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Asian Games 2018: Indian Olympic Association leaves out sari from dress code for opening ceremony

CONTRIBUTOR
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916   //    26 May 2018, 22:31 IST

CGAMES-2018-GOLD COAST-OPENING-DELEGATION
Commonwealth Games 2018: PV Sindhu donning a blue suit in Gold Coast

What’s the story?

The Indian Olympic Association has decided to buck the trend of Indian female athletes' wearing the traditional sari at the 2018 Asian Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

The IOA has come to the decision after receiving feedback from the female athletes who attended similar ceremonies, at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, The Times of India reports.

In case you didn’t know…

Indian female athletes have traditionally worn sari with a blazer on top at the opening and closing ceremonies of Asian Games, Olympics, and Commonwealth tournaments.

The heart of the matter

Indian female athletes have seemingly found wearing sari throughout the course of such ceremonies inconvenient, with many notable names causing minor controversies regarding attire on a fair few occasions.

Six-time Grand Slam winner Sania Mirza was without the blazer at the 2012 London Olympics, whilst Jwala Gutta was seen four years later at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games carrying her jacket in her hand. Plus, tennis player Sunitha Rao was also found donning tracks at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Understanding the inconvenience the athletes go through, the IOA has decided to shun sari at the 2018 Asian Games.

"We have decided that the two ceremonies at the Asiad [Asian Games] will see the entire contingent maintaining a uniform dress code," IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta said. "The women athletes will sport the same attire they wore during the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games."

The Indian female athletes will now wear uniform trousers and a blazer during the ceremonies in Indonesia later this year.

What's next?

PV Sindhu donned dapper blue suit as she led the Indian contingent, also wearing blue suits, at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. The 2018 Asian Games will be the second time the female athletes wear outfits similar to their male counterparts.

Author's take

While wearing sari at a big stage like the Asian Games will definitely set the Indian women athletes apart, athletes' comfort, especially when the ceremonies run as long as the opening ceremony, is paramount.

The IOA has surely made a small yet significant move by changing the dress code.

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