CWG 2022: Sindhu to be flagbearer; Johnson to miss Opening Ceremony
PV Sindhu, who hopes to progress to a gold medal in the individual event in badminton, will be the flagbearer of the Indian contingent at the Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Thursday (July 28).
She comes in place of Neeraj Chopra, who had to withdraw following a groin injury suffered during his silver medal winning performance at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon in the US.
According to the team officials, weightlifter Mirabai Chanu and boxer, Lovlina Borgohain, were also considered for the honour of being the flagbearer.
Sindhu, who has a bronze medal (2014 CWG in Glasgow) and silver medal (2018 CWG in Gold Coast) is hoping to graduate to a gold this time. Four years ago in Gold Coast, Australia Sindhu lost to Saina Nehwal in the final.
Sindhu has two medals from the Olympics, five medals including a gold at World Championships and two individual medals at CWG and one at the 2018 Asian Games. She has also been a part of medal winning teams in Asian and Commonwealth Games.
For India, a total of 164 participants, including officials, will be allowed at the Opening Ceremony.
Neeraj and minister’s absence robs event of the sheen
Neeraj, the Tokyo Olympics javelin gold medallist and last week’s World Championship silver medallist, and Union Sports Minister, Anurag Thakur, were expected to be the big drawcards at the function organised for the Indian contingent by the Consulate General of India. Unfortunately, Neeraj pulled out of the Games following a groin injury, for which doctor have advised rest for a month. Then the minister was unable to come over due to some work in India. Yet, the auditorium at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, was packed.
BoJo to skip Birmingham CWG Opening; Sunak, Truss expected to attend
Boris Johnson, the embattled United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, is expected to miss the Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the biggest multi-sport event in the UK since the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Even as he sits out, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, the two locked in their own battle to succeed Johnson, are expected to be present at the Alexander Stadium, when the Games will be declared open by Prince Charles, who will be representing the Queen.
The British government will be represented by Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Nadine Dorries.
Johnson announced his resignation as PM earlier this month following a series of controversies. However, he remains as PM till a new Conservative Party leader is elected in September.
Eight years ago, when the Commonwealth Games were last held in the UK the then UK Prime Minister David Cameron, too, skipped the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Also read: 15 interesting facts about India at CWG
However, in 2002 when the Games were held in Manchester, the then PM Tony Blair attended the Opening Ceremony. In 2006, the Australian Prime Minister John Howard attended the Opening of 2006 CWG in Melbourne and in 2010, India’s then PM Dr. Manmohan Singh also attended the Opening Ceremony in Delhi.
Birmingham’s own Duran Duran to star at the Opening; Indian-origin vocalist also to perform
Duran Duran, Birmingham’s very own world-famous band formed way back in 1978 will headline the Opening Ceremony.
Artistic Director Iqbal Khan and Music Director, Joshua ‘RTKal’ Holness with a host of celebrated artists and upcoming talent including Black Sabbath’s multiple Grammy winner Tony Iomni and the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. There will be musicians from across the region and they will include UK-born and bred, Ranjana Ghatak, a vocalist of Indian origin.