Rio Olympics 2016: Abhinav Bindra chosen as India’s flag-bearer for the Games
In his fifth appearance at the Olympic Games, India’s only individual gold medallist Abhinav Bindra has been accorded the honour of carrying the country’s flag at the opening ceremony of the Rio Games on August 5. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) confirmed their decision of selecting the 33-year-old ace shooter on Friday.
The IOA will now officially send a letter to the marksman for his confirmation, according to the Sportstar.
The Beijing Olympic gold medallist has a major responsibility this time as he is also one of the four goodwill ambassadors of the Indian contingent for the mega quadrennial Games, joining film star Salman Khan, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and music maestro AR Rahman. His appointment as the flag-bearer is unlikely to create any controversy though, the way Salman Khan's appointment as Goodwill Ambassador did.
There is no dearth to Bindra’s laurels. Apart from Olympic glory, the rifle shooter also landed the gold in the ISSF World Championships in 2006 and clinched four gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, among others. The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) too was very pleased with Bindra’s selection.
“He is India’s only singular gold medallist, he is also in the executive board of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF). We feel it’s a just decision, a wise decision and we wholeheartedly support it,” the NRAI president Raninder Singh said on Friday.
Bindra follows in the footsteps of double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, Athens Olympic silver medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, World Athletics Championships bronze medallist Anju Bobby George and Atlanta bronze medallist Leander Paes as India’s Olympic flag-bearers in the last few editions.