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PM Narendra Modi interacts with Indian athletes’ contingent bound for Tokyo Olympics

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Deccan Express  – Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Indian athletes’ contingent bound for Tokyo Olympics today through video conference. The interaction by the Prime Minister is an endeavour to motivate the athletes ahead of their participation at the games. Anurag Thakur, Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports; Nisith Pramanik, MoS Youth Affairs and Sports and Kiren Rijiju, Law Minister were also present on the occasion.

In an informal and spontaneous interaction, the Prime Minister motivated the athletes and thanked their families for their sacrifice. Talking to Deepika Kumari (Archery), the Prime Minister congratulated her for the Gold in the World Championship. The Prime Minister mentioned that her journey began with plucking mangoes through archery and enquired about her journey as a sportsperson. The Prime Minister lauded Pravin Jadhav (Archery) for staying on the path despite difficult circumstances. The Prime Minister also interacted with his family and praised their efforts. Shri Modi interacted with the family in Marathi.

Talking to Neeraj Chopra (Javelin Throw), the Prime Minister inquired about the athlete’s experience with the Indian Army and also his recovery from injury. Modi asked the athlete to give his best without getting bogged down by the weight of expectation. With Dutee Chand (Sprint), Modi started with the meaning of her name that is ‘brightness’ and complimented her for spreading the light through her sporting skills. The Prime Minister asked her to forge ahead fearlessly as the entire India is behind the athletes.

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The Prime Minister lauded Mary Kom (Boxing) for being a role model for many athletes. He also enquired how she was able to take care of her family and continue with her sport especially during the pandemic.

Modi asked Elavenil Valarivan (Shooting) why she got interested in the sport. On a personal note, Modi talked to the shooter who raised in Ahmedabad, in Gujarati and greeted her parents in Tamil and recalled her early years as he was MLA from her area Mani Nagar. He enquired how she balances both her studies and sports training.

The Prime Minister asked how Vinesh Phogat (Wrestling) copes up with the heightened expectations due to her family legacy. Referring to her challenges, the Prime Minister asked how she dealt with them. He also talked to her father and asked about the ways of grooming such illustrious daughters. He enquired from Sajan Prakash (Swimming) about his grave injury and how he overcame it.

With Saina Mirza (Tennis), Modi remarked about the increasing popularity of Tennis sport and asked the senior player for her advice to the new aspirants. He also enquired about her equation with her partner in Tennis.

While addressing the Indian athletes, the Prime Minister regretted the fact that he could not host the athletes due to the pandemic. He remarked that the pandemic has changed their practice and even the year of the Olympics. He recalled his Mann ki Baat address when he exhorted the citizens to cheer for their sportspersons in the Olympics. He noted the popularity of the #Cheer4India. “These wishes of 135 crore Indians are the blessings of the country for all of you before entering the field of sports,” said the Prime Minister.

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The Prime Minister said that efforts made for the players to have better training camps and better equipment. Today, more international exposure is also being provided to the players. He said that so many changes have happened in such a short time since sports related institutions have given priority to suggestions by the sportspersons. He also expressed happiness that for the first time, such a large number of players have qualified for the Olympics. He said that campaigns like ‘Fit India’ and ‘Khelo India’ contributed to this. He said for the first time, players from India are participating in so many sports. There are many sports in which India has qualified for the first time.

The Prime Minister said that seeing the confidence and energy of young India, he is optimistic that the day is not far when only victory will become New India’s habit. He advised players to give their best and asked the countrymen to “Cheer4India”

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