PM To Invite Olympics Contingent To Red Fort On Independence Day

Indian Olympics Contingent: PM Modi will also meet them personally and interact with all of them, officials have said.

Olympics Contingent: PM Modi interacted with athletes ahead of Tokyo 2020.

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will invite the Olympics contingent to Red Fort as special guests on Independence Day. The Independence Day celebrations at the iconic Red Fort in Delhi are expected to be low-key amid the pandemic for the second consecutive year.

The Prime Minister will also meet them personally and interact with all of them, officials have said.

India is being represented by its largest-ever contingent of over 120 athletes at the Tokyo Olympics, which also includes the highest female representation of 56 sportspersons.

On Monday, India women's hockey team created history by reaching the semifinals at the Olympics for the first time  - the team stunned Australia 1-0. 

On Sunday, ace shuttler PV Sindhu beat China's He Bing Jiao to win the women's singles bronze medal -- her second individual medal at the Olympic Games. She became the first Indian woman to win two individual medals at the Olympics, adding a Tokyo Games bronze to her 2016 Rio silver.

Last week, Mirabai Chanu ended India's 21-year wait for a weightlifting medal at the Olympics by clinching a silver medal in the 49 kg category to open the country's account. The 26-year-old lifted a total of 202kg (87kg+115kg) to better Karnam Malleswari's bronze in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

This year, India has seen the highest number of players qualifying for Olympics, the Prime Minister said this afternoon. "Remember, they've achieved this feat while dealing with the biggest disaster in 100 years. There are many games for which we have qualified for the first time, and not just qualify... they've given a tough fight," PM Modi said.

"The confidence and passion of the Indian players is at its peak. This confidence comes when the talent is recognised, when proper facilities are provided. This new confidence is becoming the identity of new India," he added.

This morning, India suffered a heartbreaking loss to Belgium in the men's hockey semi-final. India is now eyeing a bronze medal against either Australia or Germany in a face-off in the second semi-final later in the day. "Wins and losses are a part of life. Our Men's Hockey Team at #Tokyo2020 gave their best and that is what counts. Wishing the Team the very best for the next match and their future endeavours (sic)," PM Modi tweeted after the semi-final match.

Last month, Sania Mirza, Mary Kom, Dutee Chand, Manika Batra, Sharath Kamal, PV Sindhu, Vinesh Phogat and several other athletes had interacted with the Prime Minister ahead of Tokyo 2020. 

(With inputs from PTI)