New Delhi [India], May 22 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Thomas Cup team of the badminton champions, who shared their experiences of the tournament. The players talked about different aspects of their game, life beyond badminton and more.
The Prime Minister told the team that they will win many more medals in the course of time. They have to play a lot and bloom (khelna bhi hai khilna bhi hai) and have to take the country into the world of sports. "Now India can't lag behind. Your victories are inspiring generations for sports", the Prime Minister added.
Kidambi Srikanth talked about the great feeling among the player about being recognized by the Prime Minister in a proud way. The Prime Minister asked the team captain about his leadership style and challenges.
The Prime Minister said, "On behalf of the entire country I congratulate you and your entire team as after decades, Indian flag has been firmly planted. This is not a small feat...Keeping the nerve and team together under tremendous pressure is something that I can understand very well. I congratulated you on phone but now I am feeling the joy of complimenting you in person".
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy conveyed the elation and tribulation of the last ten days. He recalled the memorable support that he got from the team and support staff. He said that the team is still re-living the moments of victory.
Chirag Shetty also narrated his journey of the tournament and recalled coming to PM residence with Olympic Contingent. The Prime Minister said that he noted the disappointment among a few players when some of them could not win a medal at the Olympics.
The Prime Minister inquired about the bout of food poisoning that Lakshya faced during the tournament. When asked about his advice for young children who are taking up the sport, Lakshya asked them to devote their full attention to training. The Prime Minister asked Lakshya to recall his strength and balance that he deployed when faced with the trauma of food poisoning and remember the lessons learnt for harnessing his strength and resolve.
HS Prannoy said that this is even a more proud moment as the team could win the prestigious tournament in the 75th year of India's independence. He said that pressure was immense in the quarter final and semi-final and he was happy that that could be overcome due to the support of the team.
Prime Minister greeted the youngest of the lot, Unnati Hooda who complimented the Prime Minister for never discriminating between medallists and non-medallists. The Prime Minister told her that he firmly believes that Unnati will shine as her name indicates. He told her that she has a long way to go and she should never allow victories to make her feel complacent.
Treesa Jolly told about the excellent family support she received for her sporting quest. The Prime Minister said that the country is proud of the way that our women team played in the Uber Cup.
In conclusion, the Prime Minister said that this team has infused tremendous energy in the country by winning the Thomas cup. A long wait of seven decades finally came to an end. 'Whosoever understands Badminton, must have dreamt about this, a dream that has been fulfilled by you' "Such successes inject great energy and confidence in the entire sporting ecosystem of the country. Your victory has done something that cannot be accomplished by greatest of the coaches or the oratory of the leaders", PM Modi said.
Referring to Uber Cup, the Prime Minister said while we wait for victory we will also make arrangements for that. He expressed the belief that the quality athletes of the present team will soon get better results. "Our women team has shown their time and again their class. It is just a matter of time, if not this time, next time we will surely win", he added. (ANI)