India all set for Youth Olympic games

NC Network

The teenage shooting star  Manu Bhaker was announced as the flag-bearer of the Indian contingent for the 3rd Youth Olympic Games to be held in Buenos Aires from October 6-18 on Monday. 

President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) said, "It is a great honour for me. I never expected to be the flag-bearer for the Indian contingent."

A contingent of 68 members, including 46 athletes, will depart for Argentina on Tuesday to compete in 13 sports during the prestigious event.

The Chef-de-Mission of the contingent  will  be  Gurudutta D Bhakta, Goa Olympic Association Secretary

"It gives me immense pleasure to announce the young athletes' participation in the Youth Olympic Games. May the Indian flag fly high and our athletes bring laurels for the country," Bhakta said.

Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta,  attended the send-off ceremony. 

Rathore encouraged the Indian athletes to give their best and bring laurels to the country and said, "Gone are the days when Indians participated in big multi-sport events just for the sake of participation. I know you all will give your best and bring medals for the country.Stay focused, be disciplined as you are ambassadors of the country. No one should do anything which can tarnish the image of the country. I wish you all all the best." 

This one  is India's largest ever contingent at the Youth Olympics. Hockey has most number of Indian participants with 18, nine each in men's and women's team while track and field has seven athletes. Other Indian participants are: shooting (4), recurve archery (2), badminton (2), swimming (2), table tennis (2), weightlifting (2), wrestling (2), rowing (2), boxing (1), judo (1), sport climbing (1). 

Bhaker had won gold in 10m air pistol at Guadalajara World Cup as well as Commonwealth Games (CWG). She will be among top medal contenders for India at the Youth Olympics. 

Other medal contenders include CWG and World Championship silver medalist shooter Mehuli Ghosh, Asian Games champion marksman Saurabh Chaudhary and Asian junior badminton champion Lakshya Sena.

IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said, "Youth Olympics is a good platform for athletes to familiarise with the Olympic values and the Olympic Games environment at an earlier stage. I urge our young team to see the Games as a medium for sporting and cultural exchange whilst giving their best performances." 

In the lead up to the Youth Olympics, the IOA also held an interactive preparatory session with sports psychologists, nutritionists and senior journalists for the benefit of the young athletes.

Beijing Olympics bronze medalist Vijender Singh also joined the session to cheer the young athletes, the IOA said.

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