Modi highlights several firsts of athletes, hails preparations for Olympics in his 'Mann ki Baat'

'This time, our athletes will compete in categories in wrestling and equestrian events in which they have never participated before,' Modi added.
Last Updated : 30 June 2024, 11:08 IST

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the Paris Olympic-bound athletes have prepared with "life and soul" for the upcoming Games by participating in nearly 900 international competitions collectively as he launched a campaign to generate online support for the travelling contingent.

India won a best ever haul of seven medals three years ago in the Tokyo Olympics with javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra becoming the first athlete from the country to win a gold in track and field.

The Prime Minister made the remarks in his 'Mann Ki Baat' radio address, the first after the general elections. The radio broadcast had taken a break in February ahead of the general elections.

"Our athletes' performance in Tokyo won the hearts of every Indian. Since the Tokyo Olympics, our athletes have been preparing with all their life and soul. Combined, they have participated in around 900 international competitions," Modi said.

After drawing a blank in Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo, all eyes would be on the shooters with a record 21-member Paris-bound squad this time. Maheshwari Chauhan had secured India's 21st shooting quota and will be seen in women’s skeet event at the shotgun Olympic competitions.

Modi also highlighted that the Paris Olympics will feature several firsts for Indian sports including in dressage in equestrian and women's 76kg wrestling.

Anush Agarwalla will be India's first ever entry at the dressage event at the Olympics, while Reetika Hooda has become the first Indian woman to make the Olympics cut in the women's heavyweight section.

"Both the men's and women's table tennis teams have qualified. Our female shooters are also included in the Indian shotgun team," he said while urging the people to use 'cheer4Bharat' hashtag to motivate them.

"This time, our athletes will compete in categories in wrestling and equestrian events in which they have never participated before," Modi added.

The Paris Olympics is slated from July 26-August 11 and more than a 100 Indian athletes have so far qualified for quadrennial showpiece.

Published 30 June 2024, 11:08 IST

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