PM Narendra Modi congratulates Asiad medallists, asks them to work harder for Olympic glory

India won a record medal haul at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, by bagging 69 medals, beating the previous best of 65 won at the Guangzhou Asiad in 2010.

Updated: Sep 05, 2018 17:24:27

By Agencies

Bajrang Punia poses with his gold medal after winning in the men's freestyle wrestling (65kg) against Japan's Daichi Takatani at the Asian Games 2018. (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday congratulated India’s medal-winners in the recently-concluded Asian Games and asked them to strive harder in tougher competitions like the Olympic Games. Complimenting the athletes during an interaction at his residence, the Prime Minister said their exemplary performance has raised India’s stature and pride.

India won a record medal haul at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, by bagging 69 medals, beating the previous best of 65 won at the Guangzhou Asiad in 2010.

“The PM expressed hope that the medal winners will remain grounded and would not lose focus due to fame and accolades,” read a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.

“PM Modi urged the sportspersons not to rest on the laurels achieved and asked them to strive harder for greater glory. He said that the biggest challenge for the medal winners will start now and they should never lose their goal of being in the Olympic Games podium.”

Modi expressed happiness on seeing young talent rise from small towns, rural areas and from poor background.

“There is real potential in the rural areas and we should continue nurturing those talents. The outside world is unaware of the day-to-day struggles a sportsperson has to go through,” he said.

The Prime Minister urged the sportspersons to use technology as an aid to improve their performance.

He said sportspersons should continue improving by using technology-aided critical analysis of their performance as well as those of top players in the world.

“Prime Minister got emotional while mentioning the names of some sportspersons who had to go through immense hardships to be a medal winner for the nation. He saluted their grit and dedication to their disciplines and hoped that the rest of the country would get inspired from their efforts,” the release stated.

Sports minister Rajyavardhan Rathore said that the Prime Minister’s vision and the government’s initiatives played a vital role in the improved medal tally and in inspiring young sportspersons.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, wrestler Bajrang Punia, who had clinched India’s first gold medal in the tournament, said that it is heartening to get the support from ministers and assured that players would continue to perform well in the coming events.

“This is India’s best performance at the Asian Games since 1951 and shows how much our performance has improved. Prime Minister, sports minister and all others are supporting us. We can win more medals only if we have everyone’s support,” Punia said.

Indian athlete Hima Das, who bagged a silver medal in women’s 400 m event of the tournament, thanked her supporters for continuously encouraging her during the journey. “I trained hard but we got good facilities. Financial difficulties were a part of the initial stage of my journey but I learned many things from my experiences,” she added.

India clinched a total of 69 medals in the prestigious quadrennial tournament- fifteen gold, twenty-four silver, and thirty bronze.

First Published: Sep 05, 2018 17:21:47


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