Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met Indian badminton champs back after stellar performances in Thomas Cup and Uber Cup. During the brief "Q&A" interaction, days after the Indian team scripted history by winning its first Thomas Cup crown, the players spoke about the different aspects of their game and their lives outside the court, PM Modi said in a tweet.
The badminton players said they were "proud that we have the backing of our Prime Minister".
Speaking about the interaction, one of the heroes of the win, Kidambi Srikanth said, "PM took so much time out of his busy schedule to meet us. He also called us immediately after the final, and also spoke to us, and congratulated us. These kinds of things definitely help all the players to do well. This is something that is unmatchable".
Interacted with our badminton champions, who shared their experiences from the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup. The players talked about different aspects of their game, life beyond badminton and more. India is proud of their accomplishments. https://t.co/sz1FrRTub8- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 22, 2022
"PM follows the players and the sport, and his thoughts connect with the players. For the last eight years, I have seen PM Modi interacting with the players and he had been consistent with his words. Irrespective of whether players win a medal or not, PM Modi always encourages them by directly connecting with them. He follows the players and the sport," P Gopichand said as he shared his experience of meeting PM Modi.
Former Denmark shuttler and India's current men's doubles coach, Mathias Boe, also got overwhelmed by PM Modi's gesture.
"I've been a player and won medals but have never been called by my Prime Minister to congratulate, so it is something they will really cherish and will forever remember. Great morality boost to come here and meet him personally, and it was a great experience for us. I am proud to be here as a part of the team," Doubles coach Mathias Boe, who was part of the interaction with PM, said.
Lakshya Sen, who helped India create history, said that the PM Modi remembers small things about players. "He pays attention to small, small things. He knew that Almora's bal mithai is very famous, so he had asked me to get it. I got it for him. And he also knew that my grandfather and father also used to play. These small things are very important. Such a big man is saying these things to you, so it feels very nice to talk to him," he said.
Last week, the Indian team scripted history by winning its first-ever Thomas Cup crown ever since its inception in 1949. The men's team defeated Indonesia in the final, the most successful country in the Thomas Cup with 14 titles.
Only five countries had previously won the championship title in the tournament's seven-decade history: China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, and Denmark.