New Delhi [India], August 3 (ANI): Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh Thakur on Tuesday felicitated ace badminton player P V Sindhu upon her return home after becoming the first Indian woman to win two Olympic Games medals, as she claimed bronze with a straight games victory over He Bing Jiao in Tokyo 2020.
In felicitating Sindhu and her coach Park Tae Sang at a warm ceremony, Thakur was joined by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Culture, Tourism, and Development of North-Eastern Region G Kishan Reddy and Minister of State of Youth Affairs and Sports Nisith Pramanik, Secretary Sports, Ravi Mittal and senior officers of the Sports Ministry.
Sindhu's parents P Vijaya and PV Ramana travelled from Hyderabad to be part of the programme.
Members of Parliament Shyam Bapu Rao, Bandi Sanjay Kumar, Arvind Dharmapuri, and TG Venkatesh also graced the event.
Speaking at the event, Thakur said, "PV Sindhu is amongst India's greatest Olympians. She is India's icon, inspiration and has caught the imagination of every Indian who dreams of playing for the country. Her incredible achievement - that of winning two Olympic medals in two consecutive Olympic Games will inspire a generation of budding athletes."
"Her success shows how the Target Olympic Podium scheme of the government has nurtured our Olympic hopefuls towards a podium finish. Just before setting off for Tokyo Olympics, she had an interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and right after her victory he was the first person to call her and congratulate her. The nation of 130 crore Indians is thrilled by her smashing performance!" he added.
A visibly elated Sindhu said she was disappointed that she could not make it to the semifinals but was happy with winning her a medal in the second successive Olympic Games.
"I would like to thank each one of my fans because of the support and though we played without fans in the stadium, but I am sure billions have supported me from India and this success is the result of their wishes. I would like to thank my parents for their constant support and scarifies and my coach for working with me and making this dream come true," Sindhu said.
Addressing the occasion, Nirmala Sitharaman said that Sindhu is a great sportsperson and she has repeatedly proved herself so.
"What has contributed to her success are meticulous preparation, world-class training facilities at Gadchibowli, a great coach, family support, and Sindhu's own perseverance, grit, and excellence in the field of play," said Sitharaman.
"It's a day when all Indians can derive absolute inspiration and motivation. What an inspiration, what a motivation she will be for generations to come," she added.
Speaking at the occasion Reddy said, "P V Sindhu's podium finish at the Tokyo Olympic Games is a story of many firsts - She is the first Indian woman to win 2 Olympic medals and the only Indian to win medals in 2 consecutive Olympic Games. Behind these statistics is a lifetime of passion, grit and sacrifices. Early morning practices and late-night workouts were her new normal for many years."
"As a Telugu, seeing a Telugu bidda and a Hyderabadi achieve this fills my heart with pride. Further, Sindhu's success will inspire not just 65 lakh Hyderabadis or 6.5 crore Telugus or 65 crore Indian women and girls but the whole of India. I congratulate her once again on this spectacular achievement."
Speaking at the event Pramanik said, "Kudos to PV Sindhu for creating history by becoming the 1st Indian Woman to clinch her 2nd consecutive Olympic Medal. Her dedication, sincerity, humility and sporting spirit will continue to be an inspiration for all. India is proud of you".
According to an official release, the Government funded Sindhu to the tune of nearly Rs 4 crore in the last Olympic cycle, including travel to 52 international tournaments besides training camps in Hyderabad.
Besides, in collaboration with Telangana Government, it facilitated her training in the Gachibowli Stadium ahead of the Olympic Games.
Sindhu is the second Indian athlete to return home with a medal from Tokyo2020 after weightlifter Mirabai Chanu who won the 49kg class silver on July 24. (ANI)