PV Sindhu is one of India’s biggest medal hopes at the Tokyo Olympics. On Tuesday (July 14), the ace badminton player interacted with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who promised to have an ice-cream with her after her success.
Modi also spoke with Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes in an online session. The Indian contingent is preparing for the Olympics and is set for the games which begin from July 23 and conclude on August 8.
While speaking to Sindhu, the Prime Minister recalled an interview in which her coach Pullella Gopichand said he had taken back her phone and barred her from having ice-cream during the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she won the Silver medal.
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Sindhu said with the Olympics approaching, she has to control her diet. So she doesn’t get to eat a lot of ice-cream. “Work hard and I have faith that you will again be successful this time,” Modi said. “And after your success, when I meet all of you, I’ll also have ice-cream with you,” the Prime Minister said, drawing laughs from Sindhu and her parents, who were also part of the call.
The PM also spoke to archer Deepika Kumari, boxer MC Mary Kom and javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra. He told the athletes that they are a “reflection of new India” and that they should not worry about pressure and just play with all their heart when they go to Tokyo.
“It was an honour and an absolute pleasure speaking to our PM Narendra Modi with the rest of the Indian contingent. I would like to thank him and the entire nation for the continuous support, and we hope to make you proud at the Olympics,” Sindhu later told news agency ANI.
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The virtual video conferencing session was started by Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Anurag Thakur. Minister of State Nisith Pramanik and Law Minister Kiren Rijiju were also present along with Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra.
A total of 126 athletes across 18 sports disciplines from India will be heading to Tokyo. This is the biggest-ever contingent India is sending to any Olympics. The 69 cumulative events across the 18 sport disciplines that India will participate in are also the highest for the country.