Several athletes, including the hockey men's and women's teams of India, took part in the flag-hoisting ceremony at the 2022 Commonwealth Games Village, Birmingham, on the eve of the opening ceremony, which will be held on Thursday.
Team India's Chef de Mission, Rajesh Bhandari, hoisted the flag in a ceremony filled with music and dance. Besides him, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Acting President Anil Khanna, IOA Treasurer Anandeshwar Panday, Anil Dhupar, the Deputy Chef de Mission for the Games, and other IOA officials were also present at the event.
Indian fans may have to keep their hopes in check this time as the country's overall medals tally takes a hit because of the non-inclusion of shooting and archery. India had bagged 66 medals in the previous edition of the Commonwealth Games held at Gold Coast in Australia and shooting contributed 16 of them including seven of the 26 gold medals that India won.
This time around, the Indian contingent will be participating in 15 sports disciplines. If they manage to equal their Gold Coast haul of 66 medals, despite shooting and archery not being a part of the event, it would mark a huge uptick for the contingent.
Unfortunately for the Indian fans, arguably the nation's biggest hope for a title, Neeraj Chopra will not be seen in action at Birmingham.
Chopra had to pull out of the Commonwealth Games due to an injury that he suffered during the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, the USA where he won India's maiden silver medal in World Championships, despite a below-par overall performance.