“Go for gold India,” said London Mayor Boris Johnson as he presented the Olympic and Paralympic petals to India at a brief function at the residence of British High Commissioner Sir James Bevan here on Monday.
The copper petals, representing each of the 204 countries in the Olympics and 164 countries in Paralympics, had formed the cauldron during the Games. India was the third country to be presented the honour and the second foreign country after Brazil, the host for the next Games.
Chairman of the Organising Committee of the London Games Seb Coe had presented the first set of petals to the British Olympic Association.
London Games silver medallist shooter Vijay Kumar, bronze medallist boxer Mary Kom, apart from shooters Sanjeev Rajput and Omkar Singh, former hockey captain Viren Rasquinha, along with acting president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra represented India in receiving the petals.
Applauding India’s six-medal haul in the London Games, the Mayor said that India should go for gold in the Games in 2016, 2020, 2024. Addressing the hundred odd students of the MBS School, Dwaraka, and Apeejay School, Pitampura, who made sporting presentations on the occasion, Johnson said that the Olympic flame had ignited excitement in people’s hearts in the run up to the Games as it travelled from Rome, the birth place of Modern Olympics, and recalled that people had cried during the closing ceremony.