Tendulkar pat for CWG medallists

Wrestler Sushil Kumar hopes for a better performance in Olympics

Tendulkar pat for CWG medallists

Vigyan Bhawan was saturated with excitement about the sudden news of arrival of iconic cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. His presence was kept under the wraps till the last minute and turned out to be a welcome surprise for the Commonwealth Games medallists at Glasgow.

The move to bring Tendulkar came from Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and everyone appreciated the gesture. The occasion was the felicitation of CWG contingent by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to laud their efforts which resulted in 64 medals for the country.

The likes of Sushil Kumar,Yogeshwar Dutt, Vijender Singh, Paruppali Kashyap, Gagan Narang, Dipa Karmarkar and the Indian hockey team made for the best of Indian sporting talent. All took with them special memories of their brief rendezvous with the little master. Abhinav Bindra, Vikas Gowda and Lajja Goswami, however, were absent on the occasion.

Kashyap took to the stage amidst thunderous applause following his gold medal feat. He was the first Indian shuttler to win a CWG gold medal in 32 years. 

“Tendulkar told me he has watched all my matches right from Olympics, Commonwealth Games and even in the Indian Badminton League. He also said he plays badminton as a hobby, so I told him let us play someday to which he said he will play only when there is no badminton racquet in my hand,” laughed Kashyap.

“The Commonwealth Games gold is the biggest achievement of my life. Though I expected to win it CWG is so big that till the last moment I couldn’t believe that I had won.” 

The 20-year-old gymnast Dipa was breathless after her meeting with Tendulkar. “It was bigger than even my medal. He asked me which state I belong to and that he was proud to see players coming from small towns.”

Sushil said: “We wrestlers are preparing for 2016 Commonwealth Games and with your well wishes will do even better there,” he said.

Along with Tendulkar and Sonowal, Minister of State for home affairs, Kiren Rijiju, BJP leader and sports administrator Anurag Thakur, Sports Secretary Ajit Sharan, SAI DG Jiji Thomson, and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore were also on the dais.

Special words

Encouraging the athletes, Tendulkar kept special words for women athletes. “My special congratulations to women athletes like Sakina Khatun and Dipa Karmarkar. “You all are excellent, it is not easy to be where you are.” 

Tendulkar also shared his father’s advice to him when he first received the India cap. “He said you will play for a maximum of 15 years or 20 if you are good. But what after that?  He said it is important to be remembered as a good human being,” he said.

“I feel as sportspersons, your performance will be analysed and criticised.  “But one thing that outsiders can't judge is the satisfaction that you get when you give your 100 per cent.”

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