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Union Minister Anurag Thakur speaking to reporters in Hamirpur on Sunday. [Photo/ANI]
Union Minister Anurag Thakur speaking to reporters in Hamirpur on Sunday. [Photo/ANI]

Young athletes doing well, says Anurag Thakur congratulating Shaili Singh for clinching silver at World Athletics U20 Championships

ANI | Updated: Aug 23, 2021 02:14 IST


Hamirpur (Himachal Pradesh) [India], August 23 (ANI): Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Sunday congratulated India's ace long jumper Shaili Singh who clinched a silver medal in the women's long jump event at the ongoing World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi and said that this is indicative of young Indian athletes doing well at the world level.
Speaking to reporters, Thakur said, "Shaili Singh has won a silver medal which is good news for the country. This is her personal best to date where she jumped 6.59m in the final event. I congratulate her on winning the silver medal for India. Her performance was fantabulous. She missed the Gold medal by 1 cm but her performance was commendable. I wish her good luck in her future endeavors. This is a sign that our young athletes are doing well. I also congratulate her coach and other athletes also for their good performance."
Shaili jumped 6.59m in the third attempt registering her best show in the event to bag the silver while Sweden's Maja Askag won gold with a jump of 6.60m. Ukraine's Mariia Horielova managed to settle with bronze by recording 6.50m.
This was India's third medal in the showpiece event having already won bronze in the 4x400m mixed relay team event on Wednesday and silver by Amit Khatri in the 10,000m racewalking event on Saturday.
Jumping first in the final, the Indian athlete registered an identical 6.34m in the first two attempts. Shaili then made a huge improvement with a 6.59m in her 3rd jump. Wind assistance of +2.2m/s was registered along with that attempt but it took her to the top of the standings, going into the final three attempts.
"I very well remember that when I had met Anju Bobby George after she won a medal at the recently concluded Olympics after I was made the Youth Affairs and Sports Minister, she had told me that her husband has been imparting training to students and Shaili is one of them. You can very well understand that when old players are running academies, and training students, and also assisting the Centre in running Khelo India centers. This has been benefitting our players in enhancing their performance," said the Union Minister.
As the Sports Minister and a Lok Sabha member of Parliament from Himachal Pradesh's Hamirpur, Thakur also pledged to make the state a "Khel Bhumi".

Thakur said, "As the sports Minister, I will put every effort to make Himachal Pradesh a "Khel Bhumi". We will work towards improving sports facilities and to ensure that sportspersons get better opportunities and giving wings to Himachal Pradesh's art and culture. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's able leadership, the country is moving on the path of progress and development."
The Union Minister further emphasized that, unlike other Prime Ministers who used to get photographed with the sportspersons before they left for Olympic games, Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not get himself clicked, adding that instead the PM met the contingent, interacted with them, and advised them not to play under pressure as well as motivated them to give their best performance.
Thakur said that after the Olympics concluded and the players came back, PM Modi did not only meet medal winners but all the players who had represented India at the games.
Thakur stated, "As far as the experience with sportspersons is concerned, earlier also it was a practice that Prime Ministers used to get photographed with the players who represented the country at the Olympics at the sending-off ceremony before they leave. But Modi ji did not get himself clicked with them, instead, he met them, conversed with them, motivated them, and told them they should not perform under pressure and only focus on giving their best performance.
Also, after the Olympics concluded and the players returned, then he did not just meet medal winners but the entire contingent which represented the country at the Games. His efforts of engaging the youth and keeping them motivated. He also motivated them to visit schools, interact with students and encourage them to participate in sports," said the Union Minister.
Listing the steps taken by the Sports Ministry as part of preparations for the recently concluded Olympics, Thakur said, "One state one sport which means other sports must not be ignored but one sport should be prioritized so that the state can set a target for medals in that particular sport. Second, one corporate one sport, according to which corporates should also participate in promoting that particular sport. Thirdly, national sports federations, which select teams and send them forward, should have a larger role in sports. Fourthly, the Government of India started Khelo India Academy, established Khelo India centers, conducted Khelo India youth games and university games, and also introduced systems of academies and coaching as well as events to encourage sports and provide students with a platform to play sports. Side training centers and the national center for excellence have been established in different states.
"Also through TOPS (Target Olympic Podium Scheme) elite athletes are provided with national and international training. Crores of rupees have been spent on all these central schemes and on the training of sportspersons. Olympians who represented India this year, many of them were sent for international training as long as 400 days. Many also suffered injuries during their training period, like Mirabai Chanu. She was sent to America. The sportspersons also underwent training for over 100 days in the country itself. This is how the government supported them to achieve success," he added. (ANI)

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