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India?s Rio contingent given rousing send-off in Delhi

The Indian contingent for Rio is the country's biggest ever for any Olympic games. Part of the send-off was Dipa Karmakar, the first Indian female gymnast to qualify for the Olympics in 52 years. Photograph: (Twitter)

Reuters New Delhi, India Jul 19, 2016, 05.02 AM (IST)
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Monday gave a rousing send-off to the Rio-bound contingent at an event in New Delhi.

The show was attended by several dignitaries including IOA President Narayana Ramachandran, Secretary General Rajeev Mehta and Indian Sports Minister Vijay Goel.

Goodwill ambassadors for Rio, Indian actor Salman Khan and musician AR Rahman, were also present.

The event marked the unveiling of the official Olympics kit of Team India.

Officials interacted with the Rio-bound athletes and wished them luck in their endeavour.

"The fact that 121 athletes have qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympics, nearly one-third more than what was qualified for the last Olympic Games, that itself is a clear indication that Indian athletes have started to perform and they will perform well," said Ramachandran.

Also part of the send-off was Dipa Karmakar, the first Indian female gymnast to qualify for the Olympics in 52 years. She expressed hope of bagging a medal at the mega event.

"Preparations are going very well. Before the qualifiers, our preparation was strong and now my target is to replicate the performance which I have been doing and learnt here," said Karmakar.

The Indian contingent for Rio is the country's biggest ever for any Olympic games. The previous highest was 83 that the country sent to the 2012 Olympics in London.

The Summer Olympics this year will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from August 5 to 21.

(Reuters)
 
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