India has high hopes from our sportspersons at Tokyo Games. With a total of 126 athletes across 18 sports disciplines, this is the biggest-ever contingent India is sending to any Olympics
Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacting with sportspersons, Union Ministers and officials
As Indian contingent for Olympics is heading for Tokyo, there has been a huge surge of nationalist pride and aspirations among sportspersons, sports enthusiasts and general public. A country not known to celebrate any other sports other than cricket, the newfound expectations and hopes on the sportspersons who will be representing our country at Tokyo Games is a welcome change. Despite a very few momentous moments of glory in the past, there has been not much to write home about our achievements in the field and track events, considering the fact that we are a country of more than a 100-crore population. But things are changing. There were times when sports officials and bureaucrats outnumbered the real participants in Indian Olympic entourages. But now a crop of young sportspersons who have dared to dream and have the mettle to do whatever it takes to take on the world are taking the lead. Now, our sportspersons are not there just to participate – but to win medals, break records and conquer the world.
To build up the tempo and goodwill, the Sports Ministry launched a 'Cheer4India' campaign for the Olympic-bound Indian athletes across the country and urged people to come out in support of the sportspersons. More than100 athletes from India have so far qualified for the Games. Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said over 6000 selfie points will be set up in the country for people to show their support.
Meanwhile, to boost the morale of our sportspersons, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently interacted with the Indian Olympic contingent. The Prime Minister motivated the athletes and thanked their families for their sacrifice. The PM was all praise for DeepikaKumari (Archery), who won Gold in the World Championship. She used to pluck mangoes by shooting arrows. In the same breadth, he hailed archer Pravin Jadhav for all efforts he and his family put in to reach this stage, despite several odds. PM Modi said boxer Mary Kom’s journey has been very inspiring for the youth. “She is a role model for many athletes,” he said. He also enquired how she was able to take care of her family and continue with her sport especially during the pandemic. He asked about her favourite punch and her favourite player.
"All the athletes have common factors of Discipline, Dedication and Determination. Both commitment and competitiveness are there in the sportspersons. The same qualities are found in New India. Athletes reflect the New India and symbolises the nation's future"-Narendra Modi, Prime Minister
Shuttler PV Sindhu told the Prime Minister about her practice and dietary regimen she undertakes during the training period. Sindhu’s parents gave some tips and advice when the Prime Minister sought for parents who want to make their children a sportsperson. When PM Modi said he will have ice cream with her when he will welcome the athletes on their return evoked smiles from all.
The Prime Minister wrestler VineshPhogat’s father how he managed to bring up such talented and illustrious daughters who have made the country proud. PM Modi asked VineshPhogat how she manages to cope up with high expectations due to her family legacy. The Prime Minister asked was there any change in the last five-six years in sports, ace Tennis player Sania Mirza said India is witnessing a self-belief in recent years and that will reflect in the performance. PM Modi asked Mirza to give some advice to new aspirants. He also enquired about her equation with her partner in Tennis. Talking to hockey player Manpreet Singh, the PM said that interacting with him reminded him of hockey legends like Major Dhyan Chand. He expressed the hope that his team will keep the legacy alive.
The Prime Minister brought in ‘Modi touch’ to ensure all facilities for Indian sportspersons in Tokyo by personally reviewing arrangements. Union Minister Anurag Tahkur said that from 22 States, 126 athletes will represent 130-crore Indians in 18 sports disciplines. "I feel that under your (PM) leadership, our players will be able to give their best in the Tokyo Olympics," he said.
A total of 126 athletes across 18 sports disciplines will take part in the Olympics. This is the biggest-ever contingent India is sending to any Olympics.The 69 cumulative events across the 18 sport disciplines that India will participate in is also the highest ever for the country. For the first time a Fencer from India, Bhavani Devi, will participate in Olympic Games.NethraKumanan is the first ever female Sailor from India to qualify for an Olympic Games. Sajan Prakash and Srihari Nataraj are the first Swimmers from India to qualify for an Olympic Games by achieving the ‘A’ Qualification Standard in Swimming.