Indian women's hockey team captain Jyoti Sunita Kullu said she is proud and honoured to be selected as the country's flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the Asian Games on Friday.
"It is a huge honour. I am very proud that I am being given the honour to lead the Indian contingent in the opening ceremony," a visibly thrilled Kullu said.
"I never thought in my dreams that I will be bestowed with this honour, because I have been playing and representing the country for the last eleven years and I have not received any award at the district level, leave alone the National level. But now I think this is the big honour, it is a big achievement for me, it is bigger then even Arjuna Award," she added.
The 28-year-old Railway employee, who has represented the country in 172 matches, said it hurts when you are ignored for awards or not given recognition.
"But I think it is all part of the game and destiny. Now I feel better to lead the country's best sportspersons at the international arena," she said.
Kullu said it is a big honour since she is the first women's hockey player to be appointed as the Indian contingent's flag bearer at the Asian Games.
Kullu also promised that her team will perform better in the competition, saying: "we have learnt from our mistakes at the World Cup and I am confident that the girls will give a much better and high level performance here."
She admitted that the main challenge will come from Korea and China while Japan is also a very strong contender.