Sports

National Games Of India 2023: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Says Recent International Success Proves There's 'No Dearth Of Sporting Talent'

After inaugurating the National Games 2023 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Asian Games and Para Asian Games medal hauls are a big inspiration for budding sportspersons in India

PM Narendra Modi (2nd from right) inaugurates the National Games 2023 in Fatorda, Goa.
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Sounding confident about India's preparations to host the 2036 Olympic Games, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the country has a vast pool of sporting talent and its recent success in the world of sports is a big inspiration for young sportspeople. Modi was speaking after inaugurating the 37th National Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa. (Opening Ceremony Highlights | Full Schedule)

Modi's optimistic comment on Indian sports comes just weeks after the country's athletes returned with a record 107 medals at the Hangzhou Asian Games, and just 12 days after Mumbai hosted the 141st session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), where India presented its roadmap for hosting the 2036 Olympics. The IOC session was held in the country after a gap of 40 years, with the previous one being in Delhi in 1983.

Modi said the National Games are taking place in Goa at a time when Indian sports is scaling new peaks. “We saw it in the Asian Games, where the country smashed a 70-year-old record (in terms of medal tally). Even in the (ongoing) Asian Para Games, Indian players have broken all previous records. Before that in the World University Games, India created history. These successes are motivation for all players who are here (at the National Games),” he added.

The Prime Minister said there is no dearth of sporting talent in India, and that the country has produced many champions. He added that the National Games are a “strong launch pad” for young sportspersons and egged on athletes competing in the multi-sport event to break old records.

He asserted that the sports infrastructure created for the Games will be useful to the youth of Goa for decades to come and the state will produce many new players for the country, while the infrastructure will be used to organize national and international sports events in the future.

The National Games are being held across five cities in Goa - Mapusa, Panjim, Ponda, Margao and Vasco - from October 26 to November 9, though competitions in several disciplines have started earlier. More than 10,000 athletes from across the country are competing in 42 sports disciplines across 28 venues. 

In addition to Modi, Union sports minister Anurag Thakur and Indian Olympic Association president PT Usha also attended the opening ceremony.

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