It was felicitation time on returning home for the young Indian team that bagged two silver medals and a bronze in the World Junior athletics championship in Nairobi.
The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) and the Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur felicitated the athletes.
The Sports Minister said he would support the athletes in future international assignments. “We see hope in you, not just medals. You are an inspiration for others. You have done a tremendous job in winning laurels even during the pandemic. I assure you that there will be no compromise in supporting your sporting journey,” said Thakur.
“First, it was Neeraj Chopra’s gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics. Now, the juniors have returned with three medals from the World Championships. It is an indication of the meticulous planning by the Federation,” said World Championship medallist and AFI vice president, Anju Bobby George.
Anju’s husband, coach Robert Bobby George, was all praise for long jumper Shaili Singh executing a fine effort for her silver medal, ‘’despite it being her first international competition’’.
Robert also felt that parents needed to tune their mindset about pushing their kids towards sports. ‘’Parents have to look at sports as important as academics,” he said.
The Chairman of the AFI Planning Committee, Dr Lalit Bhanot, was proud about the federation conducting ‘’14 national level and zonal meets in 2021″ despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.
On behalf of the athletes, Shaili Singh said that sports gained huge prominence in the country, and that recognition of performances will only boost the morale of the athletes.
Race walker Amit Khatri had won the silver medal like Shaili, and the mixed relay team of Barath Sridhar, Summmy Kaliravan, Priya Mohan and Kapil had won the bronze.