Olympics: India's flagbearer Abhinav Bindra arrives in Rio de Janeiro

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Rio de Janeiro, July 30: Shooter Abhinav Bindra, the only Indian to have an individual gold medal at the Olympics, arrived here on Saturday (July 30) for the Rio Games starting on August 5.

Olympics special site

The arrival of Bindra, who will compete in the 10 metre air rifle event, comes a day after the Indian hockey team landed here, according to an official release. (Bindra is the flagbearer)

Abhinav Bindra

The arrival of India's hockey team, the record eight-time Olympic champions, heralded a lot of enthusiasm as the 16 playing members and two alternate players plus officials, including chief coach Roelant Oltmans landed at the Olympic Village.

Led by goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, the team includes midfield stalwart Sardar Singh, V.R. Raghunath and Rupinder Pal among the team.

The team on Friday evening settled into the Building, where the Indian contingent is housed and immediately got around to meeting their colleagues from other sports.

Receiving them at the Housing Complex in the Olympic Village was Rakesh Gupta, the chef de mission and his administrative staff.

Oltmans did the formalities and got the rooms quickly before retiring to catch some much-needed rest.

"The hockey team arrived in from Spain and has settled into their rooms in the Village," said Gupta.

"Also the arrival of Abhinav Bindra means we are steadily getting to our full numbers and there is a lot of camaraderie between the athletes from various disciplines. For many of the newcomers it is a new experience of coming to Olympic Games and interacting with members of other sports," added Gupta.

Later on Saturday morning, under the watchful eyes of coach Oltmans, the hockey players had a light workout and had a session in the swimming pool attached to the Building.

Full of enthusiasm and hopes the team had a quick session and soon will start their on-field training.

The Indian team is currently ranked fifth in the world and is hopeful of a getting to the semi-finals.

IANS

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