New Delhi: Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh Thakur today expressed hope that the Javelin would become as popular in India as the cricket bat. He was interacting with four Paralympic Games medallists, including F64 winner Sumit Antil, at a felicitation ceremony here.
Thakur was referring to the Javelin Throw medals won by India at the Paralympic Games in the wake of Neeraj Chopra’s historic gold medal at the Olympics. “I hope Javelin in India will now become as famous as a cricket bat,” he said during the felicitation ceremony.
The athletes feted included, apart from Antil, Devendra Jhajharia (Javelin Throw F46 Silver Medal), Yogesh Kathuniya (Discus Throw F56 Silver Medal) and Sharad Kumar (High Jump T63 Bronze medal).
“On National Sports Day, India clinched four medals and there can’t be a better tribute than this to Major Dhyan Chand. The success is a result of hard work and the support from the government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s encouragement has been a driving force,” Thakur said.
“The government will improve the sports ecosystem in country and through schemes like the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), it will keep supporting the athletes (both core and development) in an unprecedented way,” he said. Minister of State, Youth Affairs and Sports, Nisith Pramanik and ministry officials were also present on the occasion.
Devendra Jhajharia and Sharad Kumar spoke of the support provided by the government in their Paralympic Games campaign. “This was a very difficult Paralympic because we did not know whether the event would happen or not. We are very happy that the government adopted us and offered us great support through the Target Olympic Podium Scheme. The government is working tirelessly to support us and all our sports-centric and reasonable requests are being approved quickly,” Sharad said adding, “The Prime Minister’s call to every athlete after his respective event is also unprecedented.”