PM Modi reviews India's preparations for Tokyo Olympics

By PTI
NEW DELHI: Every need of India’s sportspersons, from vaccination to training facilities, must be fulfilled as a top priority, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday at a meeting to review the country’s preparations for the Tokyo Olympics that begins in 50 days.

Modi said sports are at the heart of our national character and that our youths are creating a strong and vibrant culture of sports, adding that he would be connecting with India’s Olympics contingent through a video conference in July to encourage them and wish them on behalf of all Indians, according to a statement.

He directed that every qualified and probable athlete, support staff and officials travelling to Tokyo for the mega sporting event must be vaccinated as soon as possible.

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He said wishes of 135 crore Indians will be with our youngsters participating in the Olympics, noting that for every sportsperson shining on the global stage, a thousand more will be inspired to take up sports.

Modi was briefed that a total of 100 athletes have qualified for Tokyo Olympics across 11 sports disciplines and about 25 more athletes are likely to qualify, the PMO statement said.

While a total of 19 Indian athletes had participated at the last paralympics in 2016 at Rio de Janeiro, 26 para athletes have qualified and 16 more are likely to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, it said.

Officials said special attention will also be given towards motivating athletes and boosting their morale while they participate in the Olympics.

Therefore, regular video conferences will be organised with their parents and family members back in India through the course of the competition, they said.

Tokyo Olympics is scheduled to begin from July 23.

The Games were postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the review meeting, a presentation was made by officials on various aspects of operational readiness for the upcoming games.

Modi was apprised about various steps taken towards ensuring uninterrupted training for athletes amid the pandemic, participation in international competitions to win Olympic quota, vaccination of athletes, and customised support being provided to them.