Want to see India picking up more medals: Saina Nehwal

New Delhi: Days after bagging gold in the recently-concluded 21st edition of the Commonwealth Games, ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal on Monday said that she wants to see India picking up more medals in Olympics and Asian Games.

The 28-year-old’s comment came in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with 2018 Commonwealth Games medallists in the national capital today.

Talking to ANI, Nehwal said she feels ecstatic to see how Prime Minister Modi keeping himself updated and supporting the athletes in a big way.

“In our country, sports is becoming a culture now. I am happy to see that everyone is playing so well, doing extremely well and it is becoming popular in India. Apart from that, I think our Prime Minister is doing extremely well. I think he is following all the details about all the sportspersons. He is extremely updated,” she said.

“I want to thank him for really supporting us in a big way. He has invited all of us to meet him. This is a great opportunity for all the sportspersons. I think it is the best time for the sportspersons where we all our performing really well and getting the support from Prime Minister and the Government,” she stated.

Nehwal, however, added that she hopes to see a lot more medals coming up for India in future.

“I hope in future we get many more medals like how Korea and China get in Asian Games and Olympics. The change is happening. I hope in future we will have a lot more sportspersons coming up,” Nehwal said.

It should be noted that Nehwal had also guided the star-studded Indian badminton team to their maiden gold in the mixed-team event of the prestigious multi-sport Games.

Echoing similar views, ace shuttler Jitu Rai said,”I am very happy to see our Prime Minister talking about sports and promoting it. It boosts our confidence and encourages us to perform well in future. Our previous Prime Ministers did not talk much about sports. But Prime Minister Modi is promoting the games in `Mann Ki Baat`. It makes us happy.”

Talking about winning a medal in Olympics, Jitu said that he would firstly focus on sealing a quota berth during this year’s qualification and then make a proper plan on how to perform in the main prestigious event.

Jitu shot a total of 235.1 points, a new Games record, to pick up the gold medal in the men’s 10m Air Pistol event.

Yesterday, Prime Ministers Modi while addressing the 43rd edition of ‘Mann Ki Baat,’ lauded the Indian athletes over their exceptional performance at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Gold Coast, earlier this month.

“Our athletes lived up to the expectations of the country and won medal after medal. It was a fantastic performance in 2018 Commonwealth Games.It was a time when people all over the country thought about which players will perform today. It was a glorious festival for the entire country and all the countrymen,” the Prime Minister said.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games have been India’s third most successful CWG of all time.

India won a total of 66 medals, which included 26 gold, 20 silver and 20 bronze.

Earlier, India won 101 medals in the Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010 and 69 medals in the 2002 Melbourne Games.