The Indian contingent’s flag-hoisting ceremony saw several athletes of Team India, including the hockey men’s and women’s national teams.
All 6,500 sportspersons and team officials from 72 nations and territories will be part of the 22nd edition of the games in Birmingham and the West Midlands region of England for the 22nd edition of the Commonwealth Games. There’ll be 136 gold medals awarded to women, 134 on offer for men, and 10 in mixed events.
“Best wishes to the Indian contingent at the start of the 2022 CWG in Birmingham. I am confident our athletes will give their best and keep inspiring the people of India through their stupendous sporting performances,” India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter.
India’s new President Droupadi Murmu also wished the participants.
“On behalf of all fellow citizens, I convey my best wishes to the Indian contingent for Commonwealth Games 2022. I am confident that our athletes will put up their best performance and make the country proud. The entire nation is cheering for you. Good luck, Team India!” she wrote. India’s contingent included 215 members.
Sindhu, like other athletes, was seen wearing a long Bandhgala. The two-time Olympic medallist was alongside Hockey captain Manpreet Singh at the opening ceremony.
India is the defending champion in the Mixed Team competition having won the title four years back in Gold Coast ahead of Malaysia. They have in their ranks stars like former World No 1 and ex-World Champion PV Sindhu, the two-time Olympic medallist, Kidambi Srikanth, silver medallist in the World Championship in December 2021 and Lakshya Sen, bronze medallist in the World Championship who had made a brilliant start to the year by winning the India Open and finishing runner-up in the All-England Championship here.
In the men`s doubles, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty are ranked eighth in the World.
Sindhu was named India’s flagbearer earlier on Wednesday after Neeraj Chopra pulled out of the event with an injury.
“The decision to name Mr Singh, who led the Indian men’s hockey team to a bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics last year, as the second Flagbearer for the said occasion was arrived at after the IOA was intimated by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee that two Flagbearers – one male and one female – must be named by each nation for the Opening Ceremony,” the Indian Olympic Association said in a statement.