India`s flagbeararers Harmanpreet Singh and Lovlina Borgohain at the Hangzhou Asian Games opening ceremony on Saturday. Pic/IOA
Members of the 921-strong Indian contingent (655 athletes and 260 coaches and officials) were left mesmerised by the glitzy opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium on Saturday evening.
Archery legend Dola Banerjee who is India's Deputy Chef De Mission came away very impressed despite having been a part of similar ceremonies in the past. "Opening ceremonies at events like this in China have always been beautiful. I was part of it at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and then also at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. This time too it was fantastic. Normally the athletes march past is held in the end, so we don't get to see a major part of the opening ceremony but here it was held first, so after that we took our seats and enjoyed watching the full show. The final lighting of the torch and the robots were special for me," said Banerjee.
Shot gun shooter Zorawar Singh said: "It was a spectacular show and extremely well synchronised."
Wushu coach Kuldeep Handoo said he will always cherish this amazing experience. "The live performances and the light shows were wonderful. The athletes march was special too," he said.
Women's handball player Nidhi Sharma said she enjoyed "soaking in the cultural display by the Chinese performers."
Swimmer Nina Venkatesh was impressed with the "beautifully and almost magically prepared graphics."
Women's trap shooter Rakeshwari Kumari said it was a dream-come-true moment for her as her father and Acting President of the Olymmpic Council of Asia Randhir Singh gave a speech at the glittering event. "I feel very proud because I've been dreaming about this as a child to be part of an Indian contingent and to walk out with my father [a renowned former India shooter] In fact, I even recorded his speech as an athlete so that was very special too. It was a wonderful ceremony," she said.