Gagan Narang chef de mission for India team in Paris Olympics

Two-time Olympic medallist, PV Sindhu, was chosen as the female flag-bearer along with table tennis star A Sharath Kamal.
 London Olympics bronze medallist, Gagan Narang
London Olympics bronze medallist, Gagan NarangPhoto | Express

CHENNAI: After days of impasse, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has named London Olympics bronze medallist, Gagan Narang, the chef de mission for the upcoming Paris Olympics. The seat fell vacant after MC Mary Kom stepped down in April. The IOA said that the elevation of Gagan as the chef de mission was an automatic choice after Mary Kom’s decision. Gagan’s appointment means the IOA has stuck with its athletes-for-athletes policy.

Interestingly, the name that could have been named earlier had taken time because of the tussle between the Executive Committee of the IOA and its president, PT Usha, over the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Gagan’s elevation from deputy chef de mission (for the shooting range) was expected because of his sporting achievement. “I was looking for an Olympic medallist to lead our contingent and my young colleague is an apt replacement for Mary Kom,” Usha said in a statement.

The IOA has also named the female flag-bearer. Two-time Olympic medallist, PV Sindhu, will be the other flag-bearer along with table tennis star A Sharath Kamal. Sharath’s name was announced earlier along with that of the deputy chef de mission, press attache and shooting venue deputy chef de mission (Gagan). Ambiguity still remains in the IOA. The EC has its own set of demands. It is understood that a few of the officials named by the IOA in the earlier statement are not sure when they would be leaving. The issue of the appointment of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is yet to get resolved. There is no clarity as to who would finally land in Paris as officials.

Cloud over EC meeting

It is learnt that the IOA has called for an emergency EC meeting on Tuesday and all members have been informed on Sunday/Monday. However, some of the members have said that according to the IOA constitution, at least a week’s notice is required for such a meeting and even if certain decisions are taken, it may be illegal. It needs to be seen how many of them attend the meeting.

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