Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the athletes representing India in the forthcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to interact and wish them luck for their performance.
Among the dignitaries present at the event held at the Manekshaw Centre, were Sports Minister Jitendra Singh, Sports Secretary Rajiv Yadav, All India Council of Sports (AICS) Chairman Vijay Malhotra, Indian Olympic Association President N Ramachandran, Secretary General Rajeev Mehta, Hockey India President Narinder Batra, HI Secretary General Mohammed Mushtaq Ahmed and others.
The Indian contingent qualified in the Olympics is the biggest this year with more than 100 athletes in 13 sporting disciplines. Previously, the highest contingent of 83 qualifiers was sent in the London Olympics in 2012.
Eight athletes making debut in the Rio Olympics in 2016 including Prakash Nanjappa, the oldest Indian marksman and Indian wrestler, Sandeep Tomar, also known as Talli were met by the PM along with notable athletes such as shooters – Jitu Rai, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Heena Sidhu, shuttlers – PV Sindhu, K Srikanth, boxer Shiva Thapa, long distance runners Sudha Singh and Lalita Babar.
— Shiva Thapa (@shivathapa) July 4, 2016
The gesture by the PM was applauded much by other prominent sports stars as well.
— Vijender Singh (@boxervijender) July 3, 2016
— Abhinav Bindra (@Abhinav_Bindra) July 3, 2016
The sports ministry and the Indian Olympic Association is expecting more than 110 qualifiers in the coming days for this year’s Olympic games.
National badminton coach Pullela Gopichand, boxing coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu, Indian women’s hockey team along with chief coach Neil Hawgood and coach C R Kumar were also present at the event.
Several Rio-qualified athletes had to miss the event due to their training abroad.