*Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, IOA President PT Usha along with members of the Indian contingent at the IOA's launch of the ceremonial dress and playing kit for the 2022 Asian Games in New Delhi on Tuesday, September 5, 2023
New Delhi, September 6:The Indian Olympic Association (IOA), unveiled the uniquely designed ceremonial dress includes a khaki textured saree for women and a khaki kurta for the male players for the national contingent that will compete at the Asian Games scheduled in Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8.
IOA also organized a glittering send-off ceremony here last evening which was graced by the sports minister Anurag Singh Thakur, IOA President PT Usha along with other senior officials.
The Indian contingent was represented by hockey goalkeepers PR Sreejesh (men), Savita Punia (women), shooting sensation Manu Bhaker and the 2018 Asian Games shot put gold medalist Tajinderpal Toor among sportspersons from many other disciplines.
The dress has been designed by the National Institute of Fashion Technology. The bandhgala jacket of male athletes and the high neck blouse for the women seamlessly blend motifs and prints with quintessential silhouettes that represent the rich cultural tapestry of the country on the global stage. The attire embraces nature with recycled fabrics that promote sustainability.
Speaking on the occasion Anurag Thakur commented, “It’s not just a uniform; it’s a symbol of pride and identity for our athletes. The uniform proudly represents India’s self-reliance and showcases the country’s diverse heritage and design leadership. I am confident that as much as the team will represent the young and new India; we will ensure historic performances and return with the best medal count. I urge the country to stand behind our athletes and cheer for them.”
The playing kit, crafted by JSW Inspire, official sport apparel partner of the contingent, is designed by the talented Kashmiri designer Aaquib Wani who has also designed the Indian cricket team jersey. It is inspired by the country’s varied art forms that serves as a visual ode to the incredible diversity and unity that defines India, ensuring that every athlete carries a piece of their home state with them onto the field.
PT Usha said she expects every member of the contingent to make the best effort to make India proud. “We have waited long for the 2022 Asian Games and are delighted that India is sending its largest contingent of 634 athletes. We believe that this squad has the potential to get India its best medal haul as well,” she said adding “In the IOA, we have made every effort to place the athlete in the centre of our universe and ensure that they are well looked after.”
With 33 members, rowing has the largest unit after athletics going to Hangzhou to stake claim at the medal. Meanwhile, a 15-member Esports team will also be at the Asian Games as the event makes its official debut.
The Indian contingent clinched 70 medals, including 16 gold, in the last edition of the Asian Games held in 2018.