Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday interacted with the Indian athletes contingent for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics via video link. During an interaction with India's top-ranked badminton player PV Sindhu, PM Modi said that he is sure of her success in the big event this month.
PM Modi asked Sindhu how her preparations are going on. To which, the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist said she chose to practice in Gachibowli because the Olympic stadium is big.
"I took the permission from the government, they asked me to follow the protocols but I'm very thankful that I got the permission at the earliest. Because of that, it won't take me time to get used to the Olympic stadium," she said.
The premier jokingly asked Sindhu about her diet restriction and recalled if the chief national coach of the Indian badminton team Pullela Gopichand took away her phone and prohibited her from eating ice cream during the Rio Olympic games.
In reply, Sindhu said, "I do control my diet before the Olympics so I don't have a lot of ice cream, only occasionally."
PM Modi, then, promised to have ice cream with her after the Olympics games. "Work hard and I am confident that you will be successful once again. And when you all come back from the Olympics, I will have ice cream with you," he said before bursting into laughter.
PM Modi also interacted with Sindhu's parents. He asked them how to parent a sportsperson. The Indian badminton star's father PV Ramana said, "You have to motivate the kids. The government is giving everything so we just teach them to give respect and work very hard."
The Prime Minister also asked him if he has any message for the parents of kids who are hesitant about them playing sports. "I want to say that if kids stay healthy all will be good and sports help in that," Ramana said.
After the interaction with PM Modi, Sindhu said that it was an honour and absolute speaking to the premier. "I'd like to thank him and the entire nation for continuous support and we hope to make you proud at the Olympics," the shuttler said.
It was an honour & absolute pleasure speaking to PM Modi with the rest of the Indian contingent. I'd like to thank him & entire nation for continuous support & we hope to make you proud at Olympics: BWF (Badminton World Federation) world champion shuttler PV Sindhu— ANI (@ANI) July 13, 2021
(File pic) pic.twitter.com/VOaDaN6ZoS
In the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, India will send 126 athletes. The mega-event will be held in the Japanese capital from July 23 to August 8, 2021.
Indian badminton star PV Sindhu has many medals to her name. She created history by becoming the first Indian to win a badminton world championship. She is also the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal. Recipient of the Padma Bhushan and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Sindu is one of India's likely guaranteed medalists in the Tokyo Olympics.