Gaurav Gill's win at the APRC Rally of New Caledonia put organisers in an unusual quandary.

There was, it turned out, no Indian flag available to hoist over the podium. Harried race officials and volunteers fanned out all over Noumea, looking for one, when a visiting journalist pointed it out.

After an hour of furrowed brows and worried faces, the flag finally arrived. It had been borrowed, it emerged, from the mayor's office.

“We know there wasn't one in New Zealand,” one relieved official said as the tricolour went up at the Henri Milliard Municipal Horse Track. “We wanted to be better.”

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