The Paralympic athletes met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence in the national capital on Thursday after a spectacular 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, where India won a record 19 medals and ended 24th overall.
PM Modi met with the entire delegation and also spent time speaking with the athletes. The Indian athletes also presented an autographed stole to the Prime Minister.
At the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, India won 5 gold, 8 silver and 6 bronze medals. Shooter Avani Lekhara was among the standout performers winning two medals in the campaign. After winning gold in the 10m air rifle standing SH1, Avani took bronze in the 50m rifle 3 position SH1.
Devendra Jhajharia, India’s experienced javelin thrower, won his third Paralympic medal, adding a Silver to his two golds from Athens and Rio in 2004 and 2016, respectively.
— DD News (@DDNewslive) September 9, 2021
The Prime Minister also met with the group before the Tokyo Paralympics and told them they were an inspiration to the country. ‘In spite of all the difficulties in your lives, you did not lose heart and kept on fighting. By your hard work and strong will, you have reached this stage against all odds. You are going to represent the country on the biggest sporting stage,’ PM Modi had said, adding, ‘You all are winners and role models. You should not play with pressure. I hope you all will give your best and medals will follow. You will make the country proud.’
Earlier on Wednesday, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur praised India’s outstanding performance, declaring that the Paralympic Games had entered a new era. ‘New Era of Paralympic Sports has begun! Modi govt will continue to support and enhance facilities for our athletes in a targeted manner to achieve ‘Podium Finish’ in 2024 & 2028 Performance of athletes has been extraordinary; it’s changed attitude towards sports in India!’ Anurag Thakur tweeted.