The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has selected India’s men's hockey captain Harmanpreet Singh and Olympic bronze medalist women's boxer Lovlina Borgohain to lead the Indian contingent at the opening ceremony of the Asian Games 2023 taking place on September 23, 2023 in Hangzhou, the People’s Republic of China.
The IOA took the decision to have joint flag-bearers for the Asian Games this time around in what will be a historic moment for the country's sports. India has sent its largest-ever contingent, with a staggering 921 members, including 655 athletes and 260 coaches and support staff.
Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra is also part of the contingent for the Asian Games in Hangzhou. The star javelin-thrower had the honor of leading the athletes at the last edition of the Asian Games that took place in Jakarta and Palembang in 2018.
A little more about India's flag-bearers
Indian hockey captain Harmanpreet Singh was not only a member of India’s Olympic bronze medal-winning team, but was also India’s top scorer at the Tokyo Olympics. He is one of the most effective drag-flickers in world hockey who also led India to a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last year. The 27-year-old was also named FIH Player of the Year the same year.
Meanwhile, three-time Asian Championship medallist Lovlina Borgohain is a reigning amateur world champion and an Olympic bronze medallist. She is also the only Indian boxer apart from the legendary Mary Kom to have won an Olympic medal and a gold at the World Boxing Championships.
The 19th edition of the Asian Games is set to kick off with a spectacular opening ceremony on Saturday, September 23 2023 at 5:30 p.m. IST at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium. Fans will get to witness athletes from 45 countries compete in 40 different sports across 16 days of the competition.