Thursday, Jul 7 2022 | Time 06:58 Hrs(IST)

Golden chapter in India's sporting history: PM on recent successes

Golden chapter in India's sporting history: PM on recent successes

New Delhi, May 22 (UNI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday felicitated the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup team of badminton champions and termed the successes a "golden chapter in India's sporting history".
"Today, the mindset is changing with regard to sports. This is like a golden chapter in India's sporting history and champions like you and players of your generation are the authors of this. We need to keep this momentum going," he said.
The players shared their experiences from the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup and talked about different aspects of their game, life beyond badminton and more.
"On behalf of the entire country I congratulate you and your entire team as after decades, Indian flag has been firmly planted. This not a small feat... keeping the nerve and team together under the tremendous pressure is something that I can understand very well. I congratulated you on phone but now I am feeling the joy of complimenting you in person," the PM said.
Kidambi Srikanth talked about the great feeling among the player about being recognised by the Prime Minister in such a proud way.
"Athletes will be always proud to say that we have the backing of our Prime Minister. I am very happy that he has spoken to all of us and took so much time out of his busy schedule. These kind of things will always help the players," said Srikanth.
Modi asked the team captain about his leadership style and challenges. Srikanth told that individually, everyone was performing great and the task was to bring out their best as a team. He also expressed his happiness over the privilege of playing the crucial deciding match. On being asked by the PM about his world number 1 ranking and Gold in Thomas Cup, the ace shuttler said that both the milestones were his dreams and he is delighted to have achieved them.
The PM said that due to not so great performance in earlier years, Thomas cup was not very much talked about and he said it took sometime in the country to sink in the enormity of the achievement of this team.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy conveyed the elation and tribulation of the last ten days.
He recalled the memorable support that he got from the team and support staff. He said that the team is still re-living the moments of victory. Modi shared their happiness and recalled the tweets of the team members who slept with their medal on them, totally sleepless with joy.
Rankireddy also explained the review of performance with his coaches. The PM complimented his adaptability according to the situation and wished him well for future goals.
"In the past eight years I have witnessed consistent interactions, whether you win a medal or lose it. He always has a mindset to encourage. He follows the players and the sport, and his thoughts connect with the players," said P Gopichand.
Chirag Shetty also narrated his journey of the tournament and recalled coming to PM residence with Olympic Contingent.
The PM said that he noted the disappointment among few players when some of them could not win a medal at the Olympics. However, he also recalled that the players were determined and now they have proved all the expectation correct.
"One defeat is not the end, one needs determination and passion in life. Victory is natural outcome for such people, you have shown that," he said.
The PM told the team that they will win many more medals in the course of time. The have to play a lot and bloom (khelna bhi hai khilna bhi hai) and have to take the country into the world of sports.
"Now India can't lag behind. Your victories are inspiring the generations for sports," the PM added.
The Prime Minister thanked Lakshya Sen for bringing Bal Mithai as promised during the telephone call immediately after the victory.
Lakshya recalled that he earlier met the Prime Minister after winning in Youth Olympics and now after Thomas Cup wins. He said that players feel deeply motivated after such meetings.
"I want to keep winning medals for India and keep meeting you like this," said the young badminton ace.
The PM inquired about the bout of food poisoning that Lakshya faced during the tournament.
When asked about his advice for young children who are taking up the sport, Lakshya asked them to devote their full attention to training.
The PM asked Lakshya to recall his strength and balance that he deployed when faced with the trauma of food poisoning and remember the lessons learnt for harnessing his strength and resolve.
HS Prannoy said that pressure was immense in the quarter final and semi-final and he was happy that that could be overcome due to the support of the team.
The PM recognized the warrior in Prannoy and said that his attitude for victory is his great strength.
Prime Minister greeted the youngest of the lot, Unnati Hooda who complimented the Prime Minister for never discriminating between medallists and non-medallists.
Treesa Jolly told about the excellent family support she received for her sporting quest. Modi said that the country is proud of the way that our women team played in the Uber Cup.
"Such successes inject great energy and confidence in the entire sporting ecosystem of the country. Your victory has done something that cannot be accomplished by greatest of the coaches or the oratory of the leaders," Modi said.
Referring to Uber Cup, the PM expressed the belief that the quality athletes of the present team will soon get better results.
"Our women team has shown their time and again their class. It is just a matter of time, if not this time, next time we will surely win," he said.
In the last 7-8 years, the Prime Minister pointed out, our players have created new records. He noted the sterling performances in Olympics, Paralympics and Deaflympics.
Indian badminton legend and chief national coach Pullela Gopichand and doubles coach Mathias Boe hailed Modi's effort of interacting with the team.
"I have seen interactions in the last 8 years he has been consistent. Either you win the medal or not, he appreciates all the time. He follows the players and the sport, and his thoughts connect with the players."
"I’ve been a player and won medals but have never been called by my PM, so ofcourse it something they will cherish and we will cherish forever. Great morality boost to come here and meet him personally and be greeted.
"It's a very bog experience for us and I am proud to be here as a prt of the team," Mathias said.

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