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Harmanpreet named India’s joint flag-bearer, says ‘will lead with all enthusiasm’

Hangzhou (China) : Indian men’s hockey team captain Harmanpreet Singh is delighted to have been chosen as the country’s joint flag bearer for the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games, which will take place on September 23.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Wednesday announced that Harmanpreet will lead the 655-member Indian contingent alongside renowned Indian boxer Lovlina Borgohain as the joint flag-bearers for the upcoming continental event.

In the recent past, Dhanraj Pillay (1998, 2002), Jyoti Sunita Kullu (2006), Gagan Narang (2010), Sardar Singh (2014), and Neeraj Chopra (2018) were India’s flag bearers at the prestigious event.

Upon learning of his selection as India’s joint flag-bearer for the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, Harmanpreet Singh expressed his profound honour and excitement. He stated, “Being named as the joint flag-bearer alongside Lovlina Borgohain for the Asian Games is a moment of immense pride for me. It is an opportunity to represent my country on an even larger scale, and I am truly humbled by this honour. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate our boxing star Lovlina for the same.”

“I look forward to leading our contingent with all the enthusiasm and determination that has driven me throughout my career. This event is a testament to the unity and diversity of our nation, and I hope to carry our flag with the utmost pride and humility,” he added.

Harmanpreet, known for his exceptional skills as a drag-flicker and his inspiring leadership, has made a significant impact on the global hockey stage. His journey to being named the joint flag-bearer is a testament to his remarkable contributions to Indian hockey.

A key member of the men’s team, Harmanpreet played a pivotal role in India’s triumphant campaign at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where the team secured a historic Bronze medal. His prowess as a drag-flicker shone brightly as he emerged as India’s top scorer, netting six crucial goals during the elite event.

Harmanpreet’s leadership extends beyond individual accomplishments, as he recently steered the Indian team to title victory at the Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023, showcasing his ability to inspire and motivate his teammates to achieve excellence.

Notably, India is placed in Pool A, alongside Pakistan, Japan, Bangladesh, Singapore, and Uzbekistan. Pool B consists of Korea, Malaysia, China, Oman, Thailand, and Indonesia. The top two teams from each Pool will qualify for the Semi-Finals.

Talking about playing against top teams at the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 and preparation for their opening clash against Uzbekistan, Harmanpreet said: “We’ve put in diligent preparation for the tournament, and our entire team is brimming with confidence. Our primary focus is on the crucial group-stage matches. We won’t underestimate any opponent, as in major events, every team brings their A-game. Our mindset is geared towards victory against all opponents.”

“After our commendable performance at the Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023, our aim is to sustain that high level of play and clinch the Gold medal at the Asian Games, which will help us in securing direct qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics,” he added.

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