Indian athletes expressed their elation at being honoured by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for their superlative showing at Birmingham Commonwealth Games with Nikhat Zareen gifting him her boxing gloves and sprinter Hima Das giving the traditional Assamese gamocha. Modi, on Saturday, hosted the Indian contingent at his residence to felicitate the players.
The Indian athletes produced a sensational show in Birmingham, claiming 61 medals, including 22 gold, 16 silver and 23 bronze.
"Honoured to gift the boxing gloves signed by all the pugilists to our honourable Prime Minister @narendramodi sir. Thank you for this amazing opportunity. A great day spent with my fellow athletes who have made the country proud," Nikhat tweeted.
The star boxer, world championship gold medallist, won the yellow metal in her weight category at the Games.
Hima wrote on her Twitter handle, "Elated to receive blessings from our honourable Prime Minister - Shri @narendramodi Ji, by virtue of Commonwealth Games 2022. Fortunate to have presented him with our traditional gamcha, wrapped with immense gratitude from all of Assam."
Champion weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, who won the gold medal without breaking a sweat, a year after her historic silver at the Tokyo Olympics, thanked the PM for his words of encouragement.
"Honoured to meet & interact with our Honourable Prime Minister @narendramodi Sir. Thank you so much sir for all your support & encouragement. Jai Hind," Chanu said.
The golden period of Indian sports is knocking on the door, said the prime minister as he hailed the fine show of the Indian contingent.
"Thank You Sir for sparing your valuable time and inviting us over to your residence. It was like always a delight to speak with you," wrote shuttler Chirag Shetty on the microblogging site.
His young badminton colleague Lakshya Sen, who won the men's singles title in spectacular fashion, too expressed his gratitude at being honoured by the PM.
"What a great day for all the Athletes #gratitude. Thank you so much Sir for appreciating our hard work and for your words of encouragement. We are all very grateful for your support. Will continue to make our nation proud. Jai Hind!" Sen tweeted.
Star Indian para table tennis player Bhavina Patel, who won the gold medal in the women's singles class 3-5, called the interaction with Modi motivating.
"Meeting Hon. PM @narendramodi ji once again, interacting with him and seeking blessing was motivating and inspiring as always. His keen interest in our performances and detailed conversations are very gratifying!" Bhavina said.
After the felicitation programme, the prime minister said the "CWG 2022 will always be remembered for memorable performances and diversifying our pursuit for excellence."