Prime Minister Narendra Modi felicitated all the medal winners of the recently concluded 2018 Asian Games. The Prime Minister congratulated the winners and complimented them for their outstanding performances which helped India record its best-ever ever medal tally at the continental event.
India garnered a record medal haul of 69 medals - consisting of 15 gold. 24 silver and thirty bronze, beating the previous best of 65 medals won at 2010 edition of the Asian Games held in Guangzhou. Narendra Modi stated that the athlete's success has helped India enhance its reputation as a superpower in sport. Not resting on their past laurels, he insisted that they shouldn't lose focus and stay grounded.
The Prime Minister was also delighted to see young talent from small towns and rural areas, against all odds winning medals for the nation. He believes there is a lot of promise in the rural areas and the government will ensure efforts to continue nurturing such athletes.
India's track and field sensation Hima Das etched her name into the history books of Indian athletics after she clinched silver in the 400m and 4x400m women's relay event at the 2018 Asian Games. Giving insights on her path-breaking journey to the podium she said: "I trained hard but we got good facilities. Financial difficulties were a part of the initial stage of my journey but I learned many things from my experiences,"
Also present at the ceremony was Sports Minister, Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore, who lauded the Prime Minister’s vision in empowering sports in the country. He conceded that the government’s initiatives played a vital role in the improved medal tally and in inspiring young athletes.
The jubilant athletes present at the ceremony expressed their happiness over being felicitated and thanked the government for their efforts in helping them achieve their dream. Speaking on the sidelines of the event, wrestler Bajrang Punia, who clinched India's first gold medal at the Asian Games, said that it is heartening to get the support from ministers and assured that players would continue to perform well in the coming events.
"This is India's best performance at the Asian Games since 1951 and shows how much our performance has improved. Prime Minister, Sports Minister and all others are supporting us. We can win more medals only if we have everyone's support," Punia said.