India's Avtar Singh will be seen in action in the men's 90 kg judo event on Wednesday as he goes head-to-head and toe-to-toe with Popole Misenga of the Refugee Olympic Athletes team at the Carioca Arena 2 in Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro. This is the first Olympics ever for Avtar, 24, who won a gold medal in the 90kg Judo category at the South Asian Games 2016.
The judoka from Punjab will start his campaign in the round of 32 of the Rio 2016 competition. The occasion has become more special for him as his parents will be present during his bout.
Result: Popole Misenga has won the bout over Avtar Singh via an 'yuko'.
"It's a dream come true to have my parents watch me from the hall, would be the best thing I wanted," Avtar said to the Press Trust of India. "I will give my best and make my parents, country proud." The Indian judoka's parents made their maiden international flight, thanks to the sponsors. It is going to a million dollar moment for Shingara Singh and Sukhvinder Kaur to watch their son in action in the grandest stage of them all.
Avtar's opponent, Misenga, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been training in Brazil for many years now. The 24-year-old combat athlete had to leave home following the Second Congo War or the Great War of Africa between 1998 and 2003.
Avtar is not that favourite a competitor going into the match. His coach Yashpal Solanki is cautious about the abilities of the judoka from the Refugee Olympic Athletes team.
"After moving to Brazil, Misenga has been training in Brazil with Olympic medallist judokas for more than three years. So it will be a tough challenge but Avtar is ready," said Yashpal. "We will give our best, no excuse."
Rio 2016 men's 90 kg judo: Avtar Singh vs Popole Misenga is scheduled to get under way at 7:15 p.m. IST (2:45 p.m. BST, 9:45 a.m. EST) on Aug. 10.
Where to watch live
India: TV: Star Sports Network, DD National. Live streaming: Hotstar.
UK: TV: BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four. Live streaming: BBC Red Button.
USA: TV: NBC Sports. Live streaming: NBC Olympics.