Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday assured Indian players of all possible help in their endeavor to achieve greater success and expressed confidence that the country will do better than the Hangzhou Games in the next edition of the Asian Games. Indian players gave their best ever performance in the history of continental games, winning 107 medals including 28 gold and the country stood fourth in the medal table.
Narendra Modi also congratulated the women players and said that they performed brilliantly and won half the medals won by the 660-member contingent. While honoring the contingent participating in the Asian Games, Modi said, ‘The government will make every possible effort to ensure that the players get the best facilities. You have crossed the 100 medal points mark.
Modi said that next time we will surpass this record. Try your best for Paris (Olympics). The next Asian Games will be held in Japan in 2026. Modi said, ‘The players tried to perform their best. There was never any dearth of talent in India. The desire to win was always there. He used to perform well earlier also but there were many obstacles in his way.
He said, ‘But after 2014, Indian players are getting the best training, facilities and competitions abroad.’ The Prime Minister said the achievement at the Asian Games is a good sign for the future of sports in the country and added that the medal winners have opened ‘new paths’ that will inspire the ‘new generation’.
He said, ‘In whatever competition we participated, we won medals. The scope is increasing which is a good sign for India. You have opened new paths which will inspire the new generation. This (performance) will also give new inspiration for the Paris Olympics (to be held next year).
Modi said, ‘Our women have performed brilliantly. She demonstrated the strength of women in the country. Half of the medals won in the Asian Games were won by women. In track and field, I felt that she was not ready to settle for anything less than a gold medal at any cost.
Praising Khelo India, the flagship program of the Sports Ministry, the Prime Minister said that it has been a great success. Modi said, ‘In this Asian Games, 125 players were part of the Khelo India program and they won 40 medals. This shows that Khelo India is moving in the right direction.
The Prime Minister said, ‘Under Khelo India, more than three thousand players are getting training, coaching, medical and dietary assistance. A total assistance of Rs 25 thousand crore is being given to the players. Money will not become an obstacle in the way of athletes. In the next five years, the government will spend an additional Rs 3,000 crore on players and more infrastructure will be created.
The Prime Minister also called every athlete who has brought glory to the country as ‘GOAT’ (Greatest of All Time). He said, ‘Today Indian players do not just want good performance, they want medals. You are a ‘goat’ for the country. The Prime Minister also urged the medal winners to spread awareness about drugs and doping in schools.
Modi said, ‘The country is fighting a decisive battle against drugs… the war against doping. I want you to go to schools and tell them (students) what is the right way to win medals and they will listen to you. You can play a big role in this. He said, ‘Make it your mission to tell the youth about the harmful effects of drugs.’