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No Neeraj in CWG: Who will be India's flagbearer at the Games?

With Neeraj Chopra making a last-minute withdrawal from the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022, who will be the flagbearer for India at the Games?

Mirabai chanu commonwealth games

Who will be India's flagbearer at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 in the absence of Neeraj Chopra?


Sohinee Basu

Published: 26 July 2022 7:47 AM GMT

After winning a historic silver medal at the World Athletics Championships, Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra will be skipping the upcoming Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 owing to injury concerns.

Neeraj was supposed to be the flagbearer for the Indian contingent in the opening ceremony of the Games. However, having hurt his groin during his 88.13m silver-medal winning throw at the World Championships, the 24-year-old javelin athlete won't be in action at the Games now.

With only 2 days to go for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 to begin on 28th July, India is now left without a flagbearer for the opening ceremony where over 320 athletes and support staff will be present in the parade.

At the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, it was badminton star and 2-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu who was the flagbearer for the Indian contingent.

Here are the potential flagbearers for India at the opening ceremony of CWG 2022:

1. Mirabai Chanu

Mirabai Chanu

Olympic silver medallist weightlifter Mirabai Chanu can serve as a good replacement for Neeraj Chopra as the Manipuri athlete is a strong gold medal contender at the Commonwealth Games 2022.

Participating in the 49kg category, Chanu is a great alternative to carrying the Indian flag at the opening ceremony given how weightlifting is always a standout event for India at the Games. Moreover, she is also a 2-time medallist from the Games and a defending champion too,

2. Nikhat Zareen

Nikhat Zareen

Reigning Boxing World Champion, Telangana's Nikhat Zareen is currently in great form and raring to go. At the opening ceremony of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022, Zareen will also serve as a good option, given that she is poised to win gold.

This will also be the debut for Zareen at the Games as she will participate in the 50kg category.

3. Vinesh Phogat

Vinesh Phogat

Ace grappler Vinesh Phogat is looking to make a comeback at the Commonwealth Games 2022. A 2-time champion at the Games, Phogat is looking for her third gold medal from the multi-sporting extravaganza.

Moreover, Phogat has been defending her gold medal successfully - having won in 2014 Glasgow and 2018 Gold Coast.

Therefore, in place of Neeraj Chopra, Phogat would also make for an ideal candidate for India's flagbearer.

4. Manpreet Singh

Manpreet Singh

Tokyo Olympic bronze-winning hockey captain Manpreet Singh also makes for a great alternative to Neeraj Chopra as the flagbearer of the opening ceremony. The Indian hockey team has always been successful at the Commonwealth Games, having won silver in the last edition as well, Manpreet would be good candidate as well to lead the pack at the Alexander Stadium on 28th July.

5. Sharath Kamal

Sharath Kamal

Veteran paddler Sharath Kamal has been a familiar face from India at the Commonwealth Games and has 9 medals to his name from the multi-sporting extravaganza.

Like a guardian figure for Indian table tennis, Sharath Kamal has been a guiding force and will be looking to bag more medals this time, making him a great option as a flagbearer for the Games from India.

The opening ceremony of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 will take place at the Alexander Stadium from 11:30 PM IST on 28th July.

The ceremony will be telecast live on Sony channels and SonyLiv will be live streaming the event.

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