A stranger in team: Woman wanted limelight

Last updated 15:04 30/07/2012
Indian team
Reuters

MOMENT OF FAME: Madhura Nagendra, casually dressed in red and blue, next to India's flag bearer Sushil Kumar.

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If you were perplexed by the sight of a casually dressed woman marching next to the Indian flag-bearer during London's triumphant Olympics opening ceremony, the mystery has been solved.

It wasn't an unsettling breach of security, merely an example of an over-excited cast member who wanted her 15 minutes of fame. And the world was watching.

Indian Olympic officials are reportedly miffed about how the woman managed to march with the country's delegation during the athletes' parade.

India's Deccan Chronicle has identified the woman as Madhura Nagendra, a post-graduate student from Bangalore.

"DC sources say that her friend from the college was also baffled seeing her with the Indian contingent," the paper reported.

"She has been living in London and before she went with the Indian team, she had displayed her Olympic passes on her Facebook account. But once this became an issue, she had deactivated her Facebook account.''

Acting chef de mission of the Indian contingent Brig PK Muralidharan Raja told the Press Trust of India they were angry that an individual who was not part of the delegation was allowed to hog the limelight.

"She had no business to walk in with the Indian contingent and we are taking up the issue with the organisers. We don't know who she is and why she was allowed to walk in. It is a shame that she was with the athletes in the march past," Raja told the PTI.

LOCOG chief executive Sebastian Coe emphasised that the woman's surprise appearance was not a breach of security as she hadn't "walked in off the street".

"I think there is a very important point here to take into consideration - and I don't minimise the fact that she got into the opening ceremony, we will have our own discussions about that - but, of course, she could not have got on to the Olympic Park without having gone through all our security protocols anyway. So ... she should not have been in the opening ceremony but don't run away with the idea that she sort of walked in off the street to be able to do that. She hadn't," Coe told a media briefing.

"But yes, we will be looking at that - next time we have an opening ceremony."

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