Olympic champion shooter Abhinav Bindra was today chosen as the flagbearer of the Indian contingent at the Rio Games’ opening ceremony on August 5.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) confirmed that they have chosen the 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medallist as the country’s flagbearer for the quadrennial extravaganza.
Bindra will be making his fifth Olympic appearance this year.
Alongside star boxer Vijender Singh, tennis legend Leander Paes and decorated grappler Sushil Kumar, Bindra’s name was under consideration prior to the 2012 London Games too, before the IOA gave the honour to the double Olympic medallist wrestler.
The 33-year-old is till date India’s only individual gold medallist at the Olympics. The usually reserved shooter achieved the feat when he clinched a historic gold in 10-metre air rifle event at the Beijing Games in 2008.
The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) expressed its delight at the development.
NRAI President Raninder Singh told PTI:
“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 whole-heartedly support it.”
Winner of numerous medals at top international competitions including World Championships, World Cups, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, Bindra is also one of the goodwill ambassadors of the Indian contingent for the Rio Games and is working towards inspiring the athletes to give their best in the Brazilian city this summer.