Dutee Chand and PM Modi
Dutee Chand and PM Modi

Hyderabad, July 13: Sprinter Dutee Chand on Tuesday said she felt very proud after interacting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday interacted with the Olympic-bound contingent who would be looking to make the country proud at the upcoming Tokyo Games, beginning July 23.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with athletes who have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. He motivated us and he gave us blessings. He asked me about my story on how I have struggled and how I remained determined to achieve all the goals. He asked me about how I prepare for the race, I felt proud to interact with him. I would urge everyone to keep motivating us," Dutee told ANI.

22 spots were available in 100m and 15 spots in 200m via the World Rankings route. Dutee's overall position of World No. 44 in 100m and World No. 51 in 200m were well within the ranks to make her eligible to fly to Tokyo next month.

The virtual video conferencing session was started by Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Anurag Thakur wherein he introduced PM Modi and he thanked him for taking out the time to boost the morale of the athletes. MoS Nisith Pramanik and Law Minister Kiren Rijiju were also present along with Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra.

Athletes such as Mary Kom (boxer), Sania Mirza (tennis), Manika Batra (table tennis), Dutee Chand (sprinter), Deepika Kumari (archery) and Sajan Prakash (swimmer) were all part of the session.

"It is an honour and privilege for every member of the contingent to get to speak to the Prime Minister before they depart for the Olympics. Our athletes will compete in 85 events in which they can win a medal," said Batra during the session.

A total of 126 athletes across 18 sports disciplines from India will be heading to Tokyo. This is the biggest-ever contingent India is sending to any Olympics. The 69 cumulative events across the 18 sport disciplines that India will participate in are also the highest ever for the country.

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