First batch of Indian contingent enters Olympics village

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New Delhi, Aug 4 (UNI) With expectations of a billion people on their shoulders, the first Indian contingent comprising shooters, boxers and swimmers, along with their coaches arrived at Beijing to make a mark in the Olympics that gets underway from August 8.

Talking to UNI, General Secretary of National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) Baljit Singh Sethi confirmed that all the nine shooters, five boxers and four swimmers have reached the Games village, while the remaining 57-member contingent and its 42-member support staff will arrive in separate batches before the opening ceremony of the mega event.

''A contingent of 30 including swimmers, boxers and the full shooting team along with their coaches have already reached, while the athletics team is yet to reach,'' he said over phone from Beijing.

Double trap marksman who struck silver at the Athens Olympics Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and world champion Manavjit Singh Sandhu were the first amongst the Indians to enter the village so as to aclimatise in the foreign conditions.

Sethi, who is also the Deputy Chef de Mission, seemed satisfied with the shooting ranges and the facilities available at the Games village.

''The arrangements at the ranges are really very good and the facilities are perfect,'' he said.

Sethi further praised the hospitality by the organisers and said the food was good with a wide variety of dishes and had no complaints about the transportation facilities.

A large contingent of mediapersons from India will leave for Beijing tomorrow.

UNI PY RAR HS1458

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