Modi hosts national sports awardees, invites ideas to improve sportsAugust 29, 2016 07:35
On the evening of the National Sports Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted national sports awardees, including Rio Olympics silver medalist P.V. Sindhu and bronze winner Sakshi Malik, at his 7 Race Course Road residence. Ace shooter Jitu Rai and gymnast Dipa Karmakar were also in attendance.
President Pranab Mukherjee will confer all the four athletes with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
Ms. Sindhu said after meeting the Prime Minister, that, “I showed him (Mr. Modi) 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.”
The Hindu reported, asked what Mr. Modi spoke to her, Sakshi said: “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.”
"It cannot be denied that our performance (in Rio) was not up to expectations," PM said. "In some cases, Indian players couldn't even perform up to the level they do in games at home and in the medals tally, we had only two," he said. At the same time, he said, Indian participants in events like hockey, shooting and boxing performed well, even better than before.
“All the Khel Ratna awardees, Arjuna awardees, Dhyanchand awardees, Dronacharya awardees, Tenzing Norgay awardees met Mr. Modi and they also included the two medallists from the Rio Olympics,” Sports Minister Vijay Goel, who was present on the occasion, said.