Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed his best wishes to the Indian contingent through X (formerly Twitter), expressing hope that they would shine with their performances and exemplify the true spirit of sportsmanship.
“As the Asian Games commence, I convey my best wishes to the Indian contingent. India’s passion and commitment to sports shines through as we send our largest-ever contingent in the Asian Games. May our athletes play well and demonstrate in action what true sporting spirit is,” PM Modi posted.
India’s aspirations at the Asian Games are high, following their record-breaking medal count during the 2018 edition, where they secured a total of 70 medals.
The Asian Games officially commenced on September 23, with sports like cricket, football, volleyball, and beach volleyball commencing on September 19.
Both the men’s and women’s cricket teams, led by Ruturaj Gaikwad and Harmanpreet Kaur, are making their continental level debut at the event. The women’s team began its campaign on September 21, with the final scheduled for September 25. Subsequently, the men’s cricket teams will commence their campaigns on September 27, with the title clash set for October 7. The Indian men’s team will play its first match on October 3.
India has sent a contingent of 68 athletes to participate in track and field events, marking the largest-ever representation in this sport. Notably, Olympic and World Champion Neeraj Chopra will be a key face of India’s presence at the event. Neeraj will aim to replicate his gold-winning performance from Jakarta in 2018. The athletics competitions will be held from September 29 to October 5, with the men’s javelin throw final on October 4 attracting significant attention due to India’s ‘Golden Boy’ Neeraj.
Alongwith Neeraj, India boasts several Olympic medalists in its lineup, including badminton star PV Sindhu, boxer Lovlina Borgohain, wrestler Bajrang Punia, and weightlifter Mirabai Chanu. The bronze-winning men’s hockey team from Tokyo 2020 is also competing.
(With inputs from ANI)