New Delhi, July 13: India's hockey team captain Manpreet Singh stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's motivational words has inspired the team going into the Tokyo Olympics.
"It was fantastic to interact with the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. He always encourages us to perform to the best of our abilities and his motivational words have definitely inspired us before the biggest competition of our lives." "I would also like to thank our countrymen for their unstinted support. We will keep the Indian flag and aspirations of 1.3 billion countrymen in mind when we step onto the field in Tokyo. I would also like to wish all Indian athletes the very best for the Tokyo Games," Manpreet told ANI.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has already confirmed that boxer Mary Kom and Manpreet would be the flagbearers for the Indian contingent at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in the opening ceremony.
Athletes such as Mary Kom (boxer), Sania Mirza (tennis), Manika Batra (table tennis), Dutee Chand (sprinter), Deepika Kumari (archery), and Sajan Prakash (swimmer) were also part of the interactive session with PM Modi.
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.
"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 the Olympics. The 69 cumulative events across the 18 sport disciplines that India will participate in are also the highest ever for the country.
The Indian contingent will depart for Tokyo on July 17. The Olympics will run from July 23 to August 8.