“You are all winners and role models,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi told India’s top para athletes, who are set to compete in the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics. PM Modi virtually interacted with 10 athletes, including 2016 Rio edition gold winners Devendra Jhajharia and Mariyappan Thangavelu, and urged them to compete without pressure.
The Paralympics will be held between August 24 to September 5. “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 in the biggest sporting stage,” Modi said.
“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.”
India is sending a 54-member team – the largest ever – in the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics with hopes that the country will produce its best ever performance. The team has some of the brightest medal prospects like Jhajharia, seeking his third Paralympics gold (after 2004 and 2016) in F-46 javelin throw, Mariyappan (T-63 high jump) and world champion Sandeep Choudhary (F-64 javelin throw)