New Delhi: Prime Minister Modi is in conversation with Indian athletes going to the Olympics through video conferencing. PM Modi began the interaction by congratulating Dipika Kumari on her gold medal in Paris.
WATCH LIVE Interaction :
PM Modi also spoke with Mary Kom. He said that Mary is a well-known athlete in India. He asked who is her favourite athlete, on which Mary Kom said, “Muhammad Ali is my favourite boxer.”
Ashish Kumar, an Indian boxer who lost his father to Covid-19 recently spoke about how he motivated himself to play well. “My family and friends motivated me to get back to sports. I was Covid-19 positive in Spain, but the facilities were made available for me. Still, it took a long time for my recovery. Then I returned to India where my coaches helped me recover and get back in rhythm.”
PM Modi said how Sachin Tendulkar prioritised the game even after losing his father. “You are just like him, (Sachin Tendulkar) an inspiration to many. The country has a lot of expectations from you,” PM Modi said to Ashish Kumar.
PM also interacted with PV Sindhu, On being asked if the ice-cream ban by Pullela Gopichand (PV Sindhu’s father) is still there – Yes, the ice-cream control is still there. It is important for an athlete to maintain a diet for fitness purposes but I do eat it sometimes, not a lot though.
Then in Marathi PM Modi asked Pravin Jadhav “kasa kaay?” meaning how are you doing in Marathi. Later on he asked about how did Pravin switched from Athletics to archery. PM said that Pravin’s parents are champions as well. Pravin said, “I will not allow my past to become a hindrance for my Olympics dreams. PM Modi lauds his remarkable strive.”
While talking to Neeraj Chopra, PM Modi says not to be bogged down by the amount of expectations. Neeraj is a javelin throw player who has won a gold medal in Asian Games 2018.
On July 17, the first batch of players from India will leave for Tokyo, where the Olympics is to commence from July 23. Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Anurag Thakur and Kiren Rijiju are also present in this video conferencing along with the Prime Minister.
The PMO has said that this time 126 athletes from 18 sports are going to participate in the Tokyo Olympics from India. This is by far the highest number of athletes participating in any Olympics from India. Prime Minister has also taken interest in the preparations of the athletes and also made sure that the facilities are apt of Indian players in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. He had also mentioned the inspirational performance of some athletes in his radio program Mann Ki Baat. At the same time, Modi appealed to the people of India to come forward and wholeheartedly support the players going to take part in the Olympics.
There are many notable participants at the Olympics this year for India. Sajan Prakash and Srihari Natraj are the first swimmers from India to qualify for the Olympics. Netra Kumanan is also India’s first representative in sailing.
India will have high hopes from PV Sindhu, Neeraj Chopra, Saurabh Chaudhary, Vinesh Phogat and others.