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New Delhi [India], June 27 (ANI): Athletes across the country on Sunday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his encouraging words to cheer India's Olympic-bound contingent during his monthly radio address 'Mann Ki Baat'.
Tokyo Olympics was slated to be held last year, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now it will be held from July 23-August 8 this year. Over 110 athletes from India have so far qualified for the Games and the final number should be between 120 to 130.
In his radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat' today, the Prime Minister urged the nation to come forward and support all the athletes who would be heading to the Tokyo Olympics to make the country proud. He also gave a special mention to athletes Bhavani Devi and Shivpal Singh, who have overcome adversities to attain qualification for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
"Shivpal Singh ji, who participates in Javelin Throw, hails from Banaras. Shivpalji's entire family is associated with this sport. His father, uncle, and brother are all experts at javelin throw. This family tradition is going to be useful for him in the Tokyo Olympics," said PM Modi.
"The example of Chirag Shetty and his partner Satwik Sairaj going for the Tokyo Olympics is also inspiring. Recently, Chirag's maternal grandfather died of COVID-19. Satwik himself also became corona positive last year. But, despite these hurdles, both of them are preparing to give their best in the Men's Double Shuttle Competition," he added.
Taking to Twitter, javelin thrower Shivpal said: "It was an honour to have Hon'ble Prime Minister@narendramodi sir mentioning my name and share my family's history with the sport on #MannKiBaat today. I am preparing hard for #Tokyo2020 and will deliver my very best.
On the other hand, shuttler Chirag Shetty tweeted: "Really thankful to our Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for the kind and encouraging words in today's Mann ki Baat. We surely will give our best at the games and make our country proud! @narendramodi."
Fencer Bhavani Devi also took to Twitter to thank Prime Minister Modi for his encouragement. "I am thankful to Hon'ble @PMOIndia Sri @narendramodi Ji for his wishes and mentioning my efforts for Olympics games and the sacrifices done by mother Mrs. CA Ramani. I will continue to work hard for making my country proud."
Talking about Devi, the Prime Minister had said: "There is another player, C.A. Bhavani Devi Her name is Bhavani and she is adroit at fencing. Bhavani, who hails from Chennai, is the first Indian fencer to qualify in the Olympics. I was reading somewhere that in order for Bhavani ji's training to continue, her mother had even mortgaged her jewellery."
"Every athlete who will be going to Tokyo Olympics has had to struggle, they have worked hard for a long time. They are just not going to the Games for themselves, but they are heading to Tokyo to make the country proud. They have to win over people's hearts and they need to make everyone in the nation feel proud. I want to urge the citizens of our country to not increase pressure on our athletes, rather you need to motivate them," he had added. (ANI)