Few days after congratulating the players over telephone for their historic thomas Cup victory Prime Minister Narendra Modi met in person and interacted with the badminton squad, which also included players from the women's Uber Cup team.
"I congratulate the whole team on behalf of the nation. This is not a small feat. You have done it. There was a time when we were so behind in these tournaments that no one would know here," said Modi.
Remembering the win, Modi said that India were able to hoist their flag in the competition after decades and it was not a small achievement.
He congratulated the team for their efforts and said that people earlier never cared for these tournaments, but thanks to the Thomas Cup win, the country took notice of the team and the sport of badminton.
"The 'Yes, we can do it' attitude has become the new strength in the country today. I assure you that the government will give all possible support to our players," he added.
He congratulated senior player Kidambi Srikanth for taking the responsibility especially in his final game in the championship.
"I can very proudly say that no other athlete in the world can boast about this, sir. Only we have this privilege of talking to you immediately after winning. First of all, thank you so much, sir. Athletes will be proud to say that we have the backing of our prime minister," Srikanth replied.
Chief national coach Pullela Gopichand said, "PM follows the players and the sport, and his thoughts connect with the players."
Union Minister for I&B and Youth Affairs & Sports Anurag Thakur also shared a post appreciating PM Modi's sweet gesture.
Doubles coach Mathias Boe said, "I have a been a player and won medals, but have never been called by my PM."
Star player Lakshya Sen gifted the PM Almora's famous bal mithai.
"The PM asked for Almora's bal mithai and I got it for him. It is touching that he remembers small things about players," Sen said.
"We feel very motivated whenever you meet us, interact with us. I hope I keep winning medals for India, keep meeting you, and keep getting bal mithai for you," he added.
Woman shuttler Unnati Hooda was delighted after meeting the PM.
"Sir, what motivates me is that you don't discriminate between the medallists and non medallists," Hooda said.
Doubles specialist Satwiksairaj Rankireddy said the players slept with their medals after the memorable title triumph last week.
India ended 70-year-old wait and won the title of Thomas Cup 2022 winners after thrashing 14-time champions Indonesia and won by 3-0.
In the first men's singles game, Lakshya Sen beat Indonesia's Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 8-21, 21-17, 21-16. In the first men's doubles game, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty defeated Mohammad Ahsan and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo 18-21, 23-21, 21-19. Kidambi Srikanth defeated Jonatan Christie 21-19, 23-21 in straight sets in the second men's singles match.
(Inputs from PTI)