Gifts for Olympics champions

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For a change, Sachin Tendulkar was happy to play the second fiddle. More than being politically correct, the occasion demanded that he cede ground to the toast of the nation ­ PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Dipa Karmakar and Pullela Gopichand ­ and the Goodwill Ambassador of the Indian contingent at the Rio Olympics made it clear that the foursome deserved to hog the limelight on Sunday .

“This is a wonderful moment for Indian sport. The journey begins here and I am sure this doesn’t stop here,“ he said at a function at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy where Sindhu, Gopi, Sakshi and Dipa were presented BMW cars for their perfor mances at the Rio Olympics. “We all will be joining that journey and are there to support you. You will keep us giving number of occasions to celebrate,“ he added.

Sindhu’s silver, Sakshi’s bronze and Dipa’s Produnova have been the flavour of the season. “The entire nation is happy at this moment and jumping with joy , there are greater things to come. On behalf of the entire nation, I can say that all these sportspersons standing beside me have brought laurels to our nation. I thank everyone for supporting and praying (for sportspersons), that is what an athlete looks out for. Your preparation…you are not allowed to eat certain things and phones were kept aside, to enable you to focus. I knew, during Rio I saw such was the focus“ said Tendulkar.

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