Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday congratulated India's medal-winners in the recently-concluded Asian Games and asked them to strive harder in tougher competitions like the Olympic Games.
Complimenting the athletes during an interaction at his residence, the Prime Minister said their exemplary performance has raised India's stature and pride.
India won a record medal haul at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, by bagging 69 medals, beating the previous best of 65 won at the Guangzhou Asiad in 2010.
"The PM expressed hope that the medal winners will remain grounded and would not lose focus due to fame and accolades," read a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office.
"PM Modi urged the sportspersons not to rest on the laurels achieved and asked them to strive harder for greater glory. He said that the biggest challenge for the medal winners will start now and they should never lose their goal of being in the Olympic Games podium."
Modi expressed happiness on seeing young talent rise from small towns, rural areas and from poor background.
"There is real potential in the rural areas and we should continue nurturing those talents. The outside world is unaware of the day-to-day struggles a sportsperson has to go through," he said.
The Prime Minister urged the sportspersons to use technology as an aid to improve their performance.
He said sportspersons should continue improving by using technology-aided critical analysis of their performance as well as those of top players in the world.
"Prime Minister got emotional while mentioning the names of some sportspersons who had to go through immense hardships to be a medal winner for the nation. He saluted their grit and dedication to their disciplines and hoped that the rest of the country would get inspired from their efforts," the release stated.
Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore said that the Prime Minister's vision and the government's initiatives played a vital role in the improved medal tally and in inspiring young sportspersons.