Birmingham, Jul 28, 2022, IANS
Several athletes, including the hockey men's and women's teams of India, took part in the flag-hoisting ceremony at the Commonwealth Games Village, Birmingham, on the eve of the Opening Ceremony of the Games.
In the presence of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Acting President Anil Khanna, IOA Treasurer Anandeshwar Panday, Anil Dhupar, the Deputy Chef de Mission for the Games, and other IOA officials, Team India's Chef de Mission, Rajesh Bhandari, hoisted the flag in a ceremony filled with music and dance.
Indian fans may have to keep their hopes in check this time as the country's overall medals tally takes a hit because of the non-inclusion of shooting and archery. India had bagged 66 medals in the previous edition of the Commonwealth Games held at Gold Coast in Australia and shooting contributed 16 of them including seven of the 26 gold medals that India won. The Indians will be participating in 15 sports disciplines in Birmingham.
Though the Indians are expecting to bag a few medals in para-sports and athletics to make up for the shortfall, it may still not be enough. However, if they manage to equal their Gold Coast haul of 66 medals, it would mark a huge uptick for the contingent that has already lost a sure-shot medal winner in javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who will not be defending the gold medal he won in Gold Coast.
Chopra had to pull out of the Commonwealth Games due to an injury that he suffered during the Athletics World Championships in Oregon, the USA where he won India's maiden silver medal in World Championships despite a below-par overall performance.