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Asian Games: Indian athletes at their fashionable best

Updated on: 24 September,2023 07:35 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Ashwin Ferro | ashwin.ferro@mid-day.com

The women wore a khaki-textured saree and blouse with exclusive Sanganeri block prints

Asian Games: Indian athletes at their fashionable best

India’s contingent during the Opening Ceremony of the Asian Games at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium on Saturday. Pic/AFP

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The 915-strong Indian contingent (655 athletes and 260 officials) that strolled out for the Opening Ceremony of the 19th Asian Games at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium here on Saturday shimmered in their traditional outfits designed for the first time by Delhi’s National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). It’s creative designers collaborated with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS)to create the biodegradable outfits made from 100 per cent recycled fabric that was obtained by melting down wasted plastic PET bottles and converting them into polyester fibre. The men’s outfit comprised a printed kurta, tailored pants and a printed jacket with coconut shell buttons. The women wore a khaki-textured saree and blouse with exclusive Sanganeri block prints.


Also Read: Asian Games: Rowing on a roll


Mongolian women’s team have only 4 bats!


While the Indian women’s cricket team are a force to reckon with here, the Mongolian women’s team are at the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to both, cricketing talent and financial standing. In their two matches here, the Mongolian women managed to score a total of just 33 runs. In their first game, chasing Indonesia’s 187-4 off the stipulated 20 overs, they were bowled out for 15, losing by 172 runs. In their second game, chasing Hong Kong China’s 202-4, they were bowled out for 22, losing by 180 runs. The margins of defeat, however, do not sound as alarming when their coach David Tallala revealed the team’s severe budget constraints. The team, with an average age of 19 and playing in their first-ever international tournament, have just four bats to share between them. The bats have been donated by a French ambassador, whose English wife is a cricket fan. Furthermore, players use secondhand protective gear and have practised with used balls since they can’t afford to buy new equipment. “Cricket is very big in India, not in Mongolia. Our women’s team are just learning to play,” said Mongolia’s Chief de Mission Ganbaatar Amgalanbaatar.

The Artificial Intelligence-propelled robot at a bank in  the Main Media Centre in Hangzhou on Saturday	The Artificial Intelligence-propelled robot at a bank in the Main Media Centre in Hangzhou on Saturday    

Artificial Intelligence, robotics everywhere

The city of Hangzhou is known to be the hub of China’s technology industry and the Asian Games Organising Committee is leaving no stone unturned in harnessing this to its maximum. So, whether it’s an Artificial Intelligence-propelled robot helping you with your banking needs or if you have to simply press a button to leverage the region’s massive cloud computing abilities, it’s all in your face across the length and breadth of this picturesque Chinese city. Facial recognition is everywhere, right from security gate entrances to even things like simple lockers which are being accessed by media personnel at the Main Press Centre. The Games’s mascots are three humanoid robots—Congcong, Lianlian and Chenchen, so the robotic influence here, in particular, is unmissable. According to China Daily, robot dogs are commonly used in commercial as well as private spaces. In the past, robots here have also helped detect COVID infections by specifically picking out elevated body temperatures among humans.

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