NEW DELHI: PM Modi termed the men's hockey team's Olympic bronze medal win on Thursday "historic" for restoring the country's pride in a sport synonymous with national identity.
The PM told wrestler Ravi Dahiya, who won a silver after losing the gold medal bout in a tough contest, that India is proud of him and that his success inspires the entire nation. Modi said he looks forward to personally congratulating him on August 15. "Dahiya is a remarkable wrestler. His fighting spirit and tenacity are outstanding," Modi said. He also spoke to his coach Anil Maan.
"Today, the pride of hockey, which is our national identity, has been established after four decades," he said, while speaking to the team members and coach Graham Reid in Tokyo. A video of the interaction at the players’ end showed the players and Reid thanking the PM for his call.
Reid said Modi’s conversation with the team after its semi-final loss to Belgium had helped him motivate the players. After India’s win, Modi tweeted the day will be etched in the memory of every Indian.
Modi told captain Manpreet Singh, “You have scripted history”. He also tweeted, “Bravo Sreejesh! Your saves played a big part in earning the medal for India.”