Prime Minister meets Olympic heroes
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Rio Olympics silver medalist P.V. Sindhu and bronze medal winner Sakshi Malik at his residence at 7 Race Course Road on Sunday.
The PM greeted the athletes on the eve of the National Sports Day. Besides shuttler Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi, ace shooter Jitu Rai and trailblazing gymnast Dipa Karmakar were also in attendance.
All the four athletes will be conferred with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award by President Pranab Mukherjee today.
Modi took to Twitter and spoke about the meeting, saying: “Our sports persons, our pride! Met Arjuna Award winners and congratulated them.”
“I showed him my medal and he was very happy. He congratulated me and said you did really well and made the country proud. That really made my day. It was a pleasure talking to him and I felt very happy,” said Sindhu after meeting the PM.
When asked what did the Prime Minister say, “Prime Minister said to me ‘maarna mat mujhe’ (I hope you won’t hit me) and I told him that we wrestlers are very aggressive on the mat but off it, we are very soft hearted.”
Sports minister Vijay Goel was also present .
Earlier today, PM in his monthly radio address Mann kiBaat, dwelt on India’s performance, saying, “Never before has an Indian Prime Minister been under so much pressure to talk about the Olympics.”
He hailed the girl power as he referred to Rio medal winners—shuttler P V Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi. He also hailed gymnast Dipa Karmakar, who missed a medal by a narrow margin. He lauded P Gopichand, ace badminton player and Sindhu’s coach, describing him as an example of a fine teacher.
“It cannot be denied that our performance (in Rio) was not up to the expectation,” Modi said while mentioning about thousands of messages to him from people who wanted him to speak on the subject of sports in view of poor performance in Rio Olympics as they were badly disappointed.
“In some cases, Indian players could not perform to the level they do in games at home and in the medals tally, we had only two “.“We have to formulate a long-term programme,” he said,and suggested state governments to form such committees to see what could be done to improve performance in sports.