Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hoped that Indian sportspersons will be able to win hearts of people from across the world at the Rio Olympic Games 2016, promising "all possible help" to the Indian contingent.
As Modi flagged off "Run for Rio" at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, he said, "I hope these 119 sportspersons will perform well (in the games), and they will be able to win hearts of the people, who come there from different parts of the world."
The Prime Minister also expressed satisfaction over the fact that India, this time around, was able to send a strong contingent of 119 sportspersons to the Rio Olympic Games.
"India has been associated with the Olympic Games for over 100 years but only this year we were able to send 119 sportspersons to Rio," he said, adding that the entire contingent was prepared well and government took special care of their training.
"We allotted special budget for their diet and training this time around," he said, adding that players were asked where and under whom would they like to be trained, and all arrangements were made accordingly for every selected individual with government spending from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 1.50 crore on a player.
Modi said that care has also been taken to provide good Indian food to the visiting contingent.
Speaking about how a player needs time to settle down in new conditions of a host country, he said the sportspersons need time to come out of the jet lag and that is why India sent its contingent to Rio well in advance.
The Prime Minister also urged people to start preparing about the next Olympic Games, to be help in Tokyo in 2020, saying every district of the country must send a sportsperson to the international games.
"Our government will do everything to support and prepare sportspersons for next 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo," he said.
Wishing well to the Indian contingent in the Rio Olympic Games, Modi said that as India celebrates its 70th anniversary of independence on August 15 this year, the tricolour will also be going up in Rio as they perform well in the international event.
(With IANS inputs)