Abhinav Bindra leads Indian contingent as Rio Olympics gets underway

Rio de Janeiro: Indian contingent, led by ace shooter Abhinav Bindra, marched their way out in the middle as the Rio Olympics kicked off in a spectacular fashion with a colourful opening ceremony here at the Macarana Stadium on Saturday.

The opening ceremony started off with lively performances depicting Brazilian culture and tradition.

With the theme of world peace and environment, the programme retraced the history of Brazil – the arrival of the Portuguese, the African influence on its culture, the immigration of Arab and Japanese communities and the rise of great cities. Almost 1,500 artists performed in a colorful musical show which gave a glimpse of Brazil.

The hour-long cultural fiesta synchronized with fireworks then saw the Parade of 207 nations, including Kosovo and South Sudan who are making their debut in the Summer Games.

Olympian medal-winning shooter Bindra walked off in the front with the Indian tri-colour in hand as other athletes of the country followed his path to the stage while Brazil, being the hosts, was the last to enter.

The Indian men’s contingent was seen wearing blazer-trouser combination along with a turban while the women’s contingent walked on the stage in a traditional saree with a blazer on top.

The 2016 Olympics will see India largest contingent ever, with a record 119 athletes look all set to compete over the next fifteen days.

The opening clash will see Indian men’s hockey team take on Ireland in men’s hockey Pool ‘B’ game while India’s tennis campaign will open with Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna locking horns with Poland’s Marcel Matkowski and Lukasz Kubot in men’s double event.

Tennis ace Sania Mirza and Prarthana Thombare will play against China’s Zhang and Peng in the opening round of women’s tennis doubles event today.

India will aim to improve on their London Olympics tally of six medals, including two silver and four bronze. (ANI)