At a function held at Manekshaw Centre, in New Delhi the Indian PM Modi wished luck to each of the sportspersons for the August 5-21 Games.
Later, the PM took to the social site twitter also to extend his good wishes to the sportspersons. He also responded to the tweets posted by the Rio-bound sportspersons.
Notable athletes who met the Prime Minister on Monday were shooters Jitu Rai, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Heena Sidhu, shuttlers PV Sindhu, K Srikanth, boxer Shiva Thapa, long distance runners Sudha Singh and Lalita Babar among others. Several athletes bound for Rio Olympics, including India's opening ceremony flag-bearer Abhinav Bindra and wrestling ace Yogeshwar Dutt, hailed the send-off given by the Prime Minister who also interacted individually with each of them.
Bindra, India's lone individual Olympic gold medallist, who will make his final appearance at Rio, thanking the PM for his gesture, said "For the first time ever there is a send-off by @PMOIndia @narendramodi for the Olympic Team. What a great gesture.#respect". The London Olympics bronze medallist grappler Yogeshwar also thanked the PM for his gesture. He tweeted, "It was great gesture from our Honourable Prime Minister to wish athletes personally. Something like this has never happened. So, it's a great encouragement for all of us".
Thanking the PM for his support, young boxer Shiva Thapa wrote on his twitter handle, "Great to meet our Honourable PM Shri @narendramodi ji..Thank you for all your support.jai hind".
Two-time World championship bronze medallist shuttler PV Sindhu called the meeting motivating. "Meeting PM Modi was motivating and encouraging, hope to bring at least 2 to 3 medals, from the Rio Games," she said.
During the send-off function the athletes were seen taking ‘selfies’ with the PM and his autographs.
India will be sending it’s biggest ever contingent to the Olympics this year with over 100 athletes having already qualified in 13 sporting disciplines. The previous highest was 83 that India sent in the 2012 Olympics in London.