Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], July 29 (ANI): Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur said on Thursday that The minister said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has shown his unwavering support for sports and sports persons and his support and passion was an inspiration to make India a global sporting nation.
Speaking at the opening event of the 44th Chess Olympiad event held at JLN Indoor Stadium, Chennai, he said more than 300 infrastructure projects which cost Rs 2,700 crores are under construction.
"India is the land where Chess originated. Just over a month ago, we celebrated the first-ever torch relay in Delhi. Today, the chess tournament is all set to begin. Sports in India is getting stronger every single day," he said.
PM Modi declared 44th Chess Olympiad open and said the most prestigious tournament in chess has come to India, the home of chess.
Thakur said it was not easy to host the event in a span of three months, but India has done it. "No other country would have organised such an event other than India," he said.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, actor Rajinikanth and Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur were also present at the ceremony.
Prime Minister had also launched the first-ever Chess Olympiad Torch Relay at the Indira Gandhi National Stadium in New Delhi on June 19.
The torch travelled to 75 iconic locations in the country for over a period of 40 days, traversing close to 20,000 kilometres and culminating in Mahabalipuram before it heads to the FIDE Headquarters, Switzerland.
The 44th Chess Olympiad will be held from July 28 to August 10 with the registration of 187 countries, a world record in terms of the number of participating countries in a single edition of the Olympiad.
India were handed hosting rights in April when FIDE decided to shift the event outside the original host country, Russia. And since then, AICF has been putting in Herculean efforts, working round the clock, in preparation for this grand event which is happening in India for the first time ever. (ANI)