Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 29 (ANI): Karnam Malleswari, India's first woman Olympic medal winner on Sunday said that the country is headed towards becoming a sporting powerhouse and a strong culture is being built.
"We did not win many medals, we just won seven medals, we have a country of more than 130 crore people, seven medals are not much. Neeraj Chopra did a remarkable job, we got our first medal in athletics, he won a gold medal. The government is supporting our athletes, the Sports Ministry is there and every athlete was taken care of. After 20 years, we won a medal in weightlifting, Mirabai won silver and it acted as oxygen for the sport," Malleswari told ANI on Sunday on the sidelines of an event in Mumbai.
"Now, people are talking about Olympics sports, earlier they just used to talk about cricket. In the future, I can see a sporting culture being created in India. Bhavina Patel won silver, it is a moment of joy for us," he added.
Neeraj Chopra arrived back home to a thunderous and grand welcome. Neeraj had won a gold medal and this was the first medal won by an Indian athlete in track and field in the Games.
Upon arriving at Indira Gandhi International Airport here in New Delhi, Neeraj was swamped by supporters and they played dhols to give a thunderous response to the 23-year-old's historic feat back in Tokyo. Neeraj somehow made his way from the crowd and quickly entered his car to leave the airport.
This year the Games were held with COVID-19 induced restrictions and all events were held behind closed doors.
About 11,000 athletes from over 200 countries competed at the Tokyo Olympics. India recorded its best-ever haul at the Olympics with seven medals (one gold, two silver, and four bronze).
Neeraj (gold), Bajrang (bronze), Mirabai Chanu (silver), PV Sindhu (bronze), Lovlina Borgohain (bronze), men's hockey team ( bronze), and Ravi Kumar Dahiya (silver) won medals in the Tokyo Games. (ANI)