Ace javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra was today named the Indian contingent’s flag-bearer for the 18th Asian Games opening ceremony in Jakarta on August 18.
Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra made the announcement today during the send-off ceremony organised for the contingent.
The Games will be held from August 18 to September 2 in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang.
The 20-year-old Neeraj is the reigning Commonwealth Games champion and won a gold in the Savo Games in Finland last month. Neeraj had won the gold medal in the Asian Athletic championships in 2017 with a throw of 85.23 meters. He had also bagged a gold in the 2016 IAAF World U-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Former Hockey captain Sardar Singh was India’s flag-bearer at the 2014 Asian Games. Indian athletes had won 57 medals, comprising 11 gold, 10 silver and 36 bronze medals in the previous edition at Incheon, South Korea.
Neeraj, India’s first under-20 World champion and the first Commonwealth Games javelin gold medallist, is being seen as a strong gold medal prospect. The Haryana boy is Neeraj the Asian leader with his 87.43m effort in the Doha Diamond League. The Asian champion also has the best five throws in the sub-continent under his belt.