Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday interacted with India’s Tokyo Olympics-bound contingent and listened to athletes’ inspiring stories ahead of the showpiece. Modi asked the athletes to not be bogged down by expectations and give their best shot at the Games.
Archers Deepika Kumari and Pravin Jadhav, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, sprinter Dutee Chand, veteran boxer MC Mary Kom, star shuttler PV Sindhu, and paddlers Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra were some of the athletes who featured in the interaction.
PM Modi extended best wishes to them ahead of the Games in Tokyo, beginning from July 23. He also had a word with the athletes’ parents during the course of the interaction.
Modi told star archer Deepika that the nation is pinning down its hopes on her. You’re world number 1 now. Your journey is very special,” Modi said. “My journey has been good from the beginning, I started with bamboo bow and then moved to modern bow gradually,” Kumari said in reply.
“…There are expectations, but one expects the most from oneself. So, I am focusing on my practice and the way in which I will perform,” she added.
Meanwhile, IOA President Narinder Batra also confirmed that the Indian Olympic contingent to be 228-strong. “The total Indian contingent for Tokyo Olympics will be 228. There will be 67 male athletes and 52 female athletes. We are fighting for 85 medal events,” Batra said in the virtual interaction.
Earlier this month, PM Modi had reviewed preparations for facilitation of India’s contingent at the Tokyo Olympics and discussed “the logistical details, their vaccination status, the multi-disciplinary support being given.”
The first batch of the Indian contingent will depart for Tokyo on July 17 via a charter flight. The contingent will feature more than 120 athletes at the showpiece.
With rising concern over the pandemic in Japan, the Tokyo Olympics will be held under a state of emergency in Japan without spectators from July 23 to August 8.