Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed disappointment at India’s failure to win more medals at the recently concluded Rio Olympics, on his radio show Mann Ki Baat on Sunday.
Despite sending its largest contingent (119) to the Rio Olympics, India managed to win only two medals.
Modi said, “It cannot be denied that we could not perform according to our expectations. In certain cases, some of our players could not match even their domestic performance in Rio and we could get only two medals.”
However, Modi praised the female athletes who salvaged India’s pride at the Rio Games.
“Our daughters from north, south, east and other parts of the country have virtually taken it up on to themselves to bring laurels for the country,” said Modi.
The PM also praised vaulter Dipa Karmakar, shooter Abhinav Bindra, and distance runner Lalita Babar.
“Abhinav Bindra in shooting and Dipa Karmakar in gymnastics stood fourth and missed medals by a narrow margin. We must not forget Dipa is the first Indian female athlete (gymnast) to qualify for Olympic finals. We performed well in athletics this time,” said Modi.
“Lalita Babar became the first Indian female athlete to qualify for track & field finals, 32 years after PT Usha. After a gap of 36 years, our women’s hockey team qualified for Olympics this time. Vikas Krishan made it to the boxing quarterfinal but could not get a bronze. Many other players performed well,” he continued.
On Monday, PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Dipa Karmakar and Jitu Rai were awarded the country’s highest sporting honour, the Khel Ratna, by President Pranab Mukherjee.
The PM had announced earlier that a committee has been set up to chart methods the government could use to help the athletes churn out medal-winning performances in the future. During his talk on Mann Ki Baat, Modi went on to describe how the committee will go about their business.
“I have set up a committee. The committee will study the best practices and prepare a roadmap for 2020, 2024 and 2028 Olympics. We have to make a plan with foresight,” said Modi.
Furthermore, the PM also went on to appeal to the state governments and the general populace to send in their suggestions, as to how the sports facilities in the country could be improved in order to increase India’s medals tally at international events.
“I appeal to the sports associations to brainstorm independently and give their memorandums to the government. My appeal to every citizen to send his suggestions on NarendraModi App,” said Modi. “State Governments should send their suggestions. I have a firm resolve that a nation with 65 percent youth of its 125 crore population will come out with flying colours.”