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Indian flag to be raised at Guangzhou

November 11, 2010 09:26 IST

The Indian contingent for the Asian Games, commencing in Guangzhou on Friday, is getting into the groove and the country's tri-colour would be raised on Thursday afternoon at the athletes village.

"The flag-hoisting ceremony would be held at 2 pm tomorrow in the village," according to an IOA official, who said the contingent was gradually settling down.

The shooters, led by Commonwealth Games hero and four-gold winner Gagan Narang and who are on a high following the unprecedented haul in the Delhi Games, started practicing to face up to bigger challenges here from teams like South Korea and China.

Samaresh Jung, Omkar Singh and Narang had a stint at the faraway shooting range along with Arunachal's Pemba Tamang while the boxers too have arrived with all the focus on Beijing Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh who disappointed in the Delhi Games.

Indian participants in boxing, cycling, judo, wushu, swimming, hockey (men and women), football, softball and weightlifting have already reached Guangzhou, the official said.

The modern city of Guangzhou, formerly Canton with its myriad flyovers and silken smooth roads, is all decked up to host the Games with the entire 45-km route from the airport to the Games venues lined up with banners.

The Games, the biggest sporting event after the Olympics, offers 3,989 medals in 476 events and 42 disciplines.

China, after its unprecedented success in the Olympic Games it staged two years ago, is all set to sweep the medals while traditional rivals South Korea and Japan are once again well-poised to fight for the no. 2 spot.

India have been in the top ten of the medals table, but would be aiming higher this time following the confidence boost the country received when it finished a historic second ahead of third-placed England with 38 gold medals in the CWG.

Timothy Tsun-Ting Fok, Vice President of Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), said on Tuesday that the upcoming Guangzhou Asian Games would be the best one in Asiad history.

"Guangzhou once hosted the most successful National Games, and I'm sure it will also present the best Asian Games this time," he said.

"The Asian Games provides a rare opportunity for Guangzhou to showcase its brand-new side. The whole world will share this rare opportunity. The entire city of Guangzhou will enjoy this historic moment," said Fok who is also the President of the Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China.

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