Posted On Monday, July 16, 2012 at 09:37:41 AM
Ending days of speculation, the IOA yesterday announced that wrestler Sushil Kumar, a bronze medallist at the Beijing Games, will be the flag bearer of the Indian contingent at the upcoming London Olympics.
The names of top boxer Vijender Singh, tennis legend Leander Paes and ace shooter Abhinav Bindra were also doing the rounds for the honour.
Vijender, Sushil and Bindra had all returned with medals from the last edition of the Games in Beijing.
“Sushil Kumar was chosen owing to the events of some of the other contenders just after the opening ceremony,” VK Malhotra, the acting president of the Indian Olympic Association said.
Bindra, the country’s first individual gold medallist at the Olympics, was reportedly the preferred candidate of the IOA but since his 10m air rifle event is scheduled three days after the opening ceremony on July 30, the shooter wanted to focus on his preparations.
Similarly, Vijender’s weigh-in is scheduled for July 28 so it was tough for him to do the honours. Paes had led the contingent in 2000 Sydney Games and IOA decided Sushil should do the honours this time.
Maken Sticks to Stand
Continuing his tirade against Suresh Kalmadi, Sports Minister Ajay Maken yesterday maintained that the tainted sports administrator should not attend London Olympics and termed as “absurd” the demand for his resignation.
A day after Kalmadi hit out at the sports minister accusing him of carrying out a vilification campaign, an unfazed Maken said that the sacked CWG chief should desist from going to the Olympics and he has taken up the mater with the IOA.
“I have taken up the matter with the IOA. I have asked the IOA to speak to the IAAF (International Athletics Federation) and IOC and explain them the matter.
He (Kalmadi) will nor be part of any official delegation from India neither of IOA nor of government,” Maken told reporters. “I want to advise Kalmadi that he should not go to the Olympics unless he is cleared of all the charges,” he said.
On Kalmadi’s demand that he should resign for contempt of court, Maken said that he has no morale authority to demand such a thing. “No one has spoken to me about that. He (Kalmadi) is the person who has been chargesheeted on charges of corruption by the CBI and also been suspended by Congress party.
He has no morale right to ask me about my resignation. It’s absurd for him to raise this issue (of my resignation),” said Maken. On Saturday, Kalmadi had launched a vicious attack on Maken, accusing the Sports Minister of carrying out a vilification campaign against him and called for his resignation for contempt of court.
This was after a Delhi court on Thursday allowed Kalmadi to travel to London for the Olympics, evoking sharp reaction from Maken and some former athletes. The IOA had clarified that Kalmadi was not a part of its official delegation.