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Paris Olympics 2024: Gagan Narang to be India's Chef de Mission; PV Sindhu, Sharath Kamal to be flag bearers

London Olympics bronze medallist shooter Gagan Narang was on Monday appointed as India's Chef-de-Mission for the Paris Olympics 2024, replacing Mary Kom.

Paris Olympics 2024: Gagan Narang to be India's Chef de Mission; PV Sindhu, Sharath Kamal to be flag bearers snt
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First Published Jul 8, 2024, 9:41 PM IST

London Olympics bronze medallist shooter Gagan Narang was on Monday appointed as India's Chef-de-Mission for the Paris Olympics 2024, replacing Mary Kom. Ace shuttler PV Sindhu will serve as the female flag bearer during the opening ceremony. Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President PT Usha announced that Narang's promotion from deputy CDM was a natural decision following Mary Kom's resignation.

"I was looking for an Olympic medallist to lead our contingent and my young colleague is an apt replacement for Mary Kom," PT Usha said in a press release.

In April, six-time world champion Mary Kom resigned from her position, citing compelling personal reasons. Appointed as Chef-de-Mission by the IOA in March this year, Kom's decision paved the way for Gagan Narang's elevation to the role.

The Chef-de-Mission plays a crucial administrative role, overseeing the welfare of participating athletes, attending to their needs, and coordinating with the organizing committee.

Additionally, PV Sindhu, India's sole woman athlete to secure consecutive Olympic medals, will lead the Indian contingent as the flag bearer during the opening ceremony on July 26, alongside table tennis star Achanta Sharath Kamal.

"I am also delighted to announce that India's only woman to win two Olympic medals, PV Sindhu, as the female flag-bearer alongside table tennis ace A Sharath Kamal in the opening ceremony," Usha said.

In March, the IOA initially named Achanta Sharath Kamal as the flag bearer but postponed the decision on selecting the female athlete.

In 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) modified its protocol to permit one female and one male athlete from each NOC to jointly carry the flag during the Summer Games' opening ceremony.

At the Tokyo Olympics, Mary Kom and former hockey captain Manpreet Singh served as India's flag bearers.

"I am confident that our athletes are well prepared to deliver the best results for India in Paris 2024 Olympic Games," Usha added.

Over 100 athletes have qualified for the Paris Games, scheduled to begin on July 26.

Notably, Gagan Narang, the London Olympics bronze medallist in the men's 10m air rifle event, was assigned to oversee India's operations at the shooting range, located quite a distance from the main venues.

India is set to field its largest-ever shooting contingent, with a record 21 athletes qualifying for the Games.

With Narang's appointment as Chef-de-Mission, the IOA now needs to identify a replacement to manage operations at the shooting range.

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