New Delhi, August 26 : Beijing Olympic Games medal winners boxer Vijender Kumar and wrestler Sushil Kumar called on Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari here today.
Welcoming these winners, Ansari said that in sports the most important aspect is to play for the country rather than winning or loosing the game. To participate in Olympic Games, held once in four years, is a proud moment for any sports person, he added.
He expressed his confidence that in the next Olympic Games, Indians will win more medals and make the nation proud.
The Vice President asked Union Sports Minister M.S. Gill, who was present there, to find out the modalities to tap the sports potential in our country and make our country a 'sports power'.
We have to learn how some countries have become 'sports power'. Lauding the efforts of the sports persons he said that we have to learn from our failures.
Ansari called upon the people of our country to give due respect to sports and sports persons. He said games and sports should be encouraged in schools and colleges.
He assured the award winning sports persons and sports authorities present of full support and cooperation of the Government.
Indian Olympics Association (IOA) Chairman Suresh Kalmadi and a number of sports persons were also present on the occasion.
Sushil Kumar won the medal in the men's 66 kilograms freestyle category, defeating Leonid Speiridonov of Kazakhistan. He became the second Indian wrestler after 56 years to bag a bronze medal. Earlier, Khashaba Jadhav of Karad, Maharashtra, had won an individual bronze in the Helsinki Olympics in 1952.
Vijender Kumar became the first-ever Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal. His performance also boosted India's medal tally in Beijing Olympics to three, after shooter Abhinav Bindra won gold in 10m air rifle event and wrestler Sushil Kumar bagged bronze.
India won three medals at the Beijing Olympics, their best ever performance at the Summer Games. Earlier, in 1928, India had only won four individual medals, none of them gold, since sending their first team to the Summer Games.
The men's hockey team has won the Olympic tournament eight times. Last time it won gold was in 1980.
Story first published: Tuesday, August 26, 2008, 18:30 [IST]
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