Shaili Singh and Amit Khatri bagged two silver medals at the tournament.

Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur felicitated the medal winners of the recently concluded World Athletics U20 Championships. Indians bagged two silver medals through Long Jumper Shaili Singh and 10000m Race Walker Amit Khatri and a bronze medal through the Mixed Team 4x400m Relay of Barath Sridhar, Priya Mohan, Summy and Kapil.

Anurag Thakur sought suggestions from the young athletes to improve the sports ecosystem in the country. He then said there would be several initiatives taken by the government to help nurture the culture of sports in India.

“We see hope in you and not just medals. You are an inspiration for other sportspersons in the country,” he said. “You have done a tremendous job in getting us laurels even at this difficult time of the pandemic, your journey has been outstanding and I assure you that no compromises will be made in helping you in your sporting journey,” he said.

Anurag Thakur recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said sports is about dedication, determination and hard work and all our athletes are winners in their own right when he told athletes, who did not win any medal, to not feel disheartened. He said there should not be any pressure of getting medals but the focus should be on giving their best.

The minister also said that he is happy to learn that former champions are becoming coaches and this is a good sign for the welfare of sports. Also present were World Championship Long Jump medalist Anju Bobby George, Chief Coach (Junior) Kamal Ali Khan and other dignitaries from MYAS, AFI and SAI.

Shaili Singh’s coach Robert Bobby George who was present said that to promote the culture of sports, India needs to work towards the development of the attitude of parents. He said that parents need to make sports as important as academics.

The Long Jumper said that recognition of sports in the country is now gaining huge prominence and their morale is boosted when their efforts were recognised.

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