Ajitpal Singh named Chef-de-Mission of Indian contingent

NEW DELHI, Apr 2:
Three-time Olympian and former captain of the Indian hockey team Ajit Pal Singh today became the first sportsperson to be named India’s Chef-de-Mission for Olympic Games, bringing an end to the bitter wranglings for the post within the IOA.
The seven-member committee, which was formed to appoint the Chef-de-Mission for the July 27-August 12 Games, “unanimously” selected the former hockey star to head the Indian contingent in the London Olympic Games.
Making the announcement IOA Acting President Vijay Kumar Malhotra said Senior Vice Presidents Tarlochan Singh and B P Baishya, both of whom were in the fray for the post, will be the IOA’s delegates for the Games.
“We have fulfilled yet another promise of giving the sportspersons a major role in the affairs of the Association,” Malhotra said.
He said he was confident that Ajitpal, 65, will live up to the high expectations, and will be a true ambassador of the country.
“It is not an ornamental post, it carries lot of responsibilities and Ajitpal as a leader will have to play the role which will bring glory to the country,” he added.
Malhotra also added that by appointing a sportsperson as Chef-de-Mission the “IOA members have silenced their critics once again who always used to say that athletes are being ignored in the functioning of the sports bodies”.
“We have set the trend, and I hope it will continue,” the acting president said.
IOA Secretary General Randhir Singh called it a historic decision, saying “an Olympic medal winner will be leading the Indian contingent in the Olympics for the first time”.
Malhotra further added that “before this also another far reaching decision was taken when IOA decided to share all the sponsors money with the qualified sportspersons”.
Giving his reaction, Ajitpal, who is holidaying in Goa, said he was humbled by the decision of the IOA. (PTI)

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