Ahmedabad, March 12: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that favouritism was the major issue in sports similar to nepotism in politics, adding that with the dedication of youth, India would soon be among countries winning many golds in international sports events.

Addressing the inauguration of Khel Mahakumbh 2022 at Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, PM Modi said, "The crowd is telling us that you all are ready to touch the sky. Due to Covid, the event could not be organized for two years, but CM Bhupendra Patel has organized it in such a way that youths are filled with zeal again."

PM Modi said that in Tokyo Olympics, India for the very first time won seven medals and the same record was made by Paralympians as well. "This is just a beginning." PM Narendra Modi Holds Roadshow From Raj Bhavan to Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad (Watch Video).

"I have faith in our young players, their dedication. I have trust on Sankalp (Pledge), Samarpan (dedication)of our players. Thus, I can say with confidence that our youth power would take it much further. We would soon be among countries winning many golds," he said while lauding the power of youths in winning medals at various international sports events. PM Modi said that today, the youth of the nation are making everyone proud in not one or two but various sports.

"In politics, like bhai-bhatijawaad (nepotism), favouritism in sports was also a major issue. Today Indian athletes are doing well with the glitter of gold and silver. There was a time when India's identity was placed on one or two sports. Today, the youth of our nation are making us proud in not one or two but various sports. The sky is the limit for the talent we have in our country," he added.

He said that this is not only the Mahakumbh of sports but also the Mahakumbh of youths and their indomitable spirits. "In the first Khel Mahakumbh, Gujarat saw the participation of 13 lakh youths in 16 sports. In 2019, it rose to 40 lakh participants. Now, in 2022, 55 lakh enthusiastic participants are ready to begin their journey today," said PM Modi.

The Prime Minister said, "In 2010 when I was Gujarat Chief Minister, I had started Khel Mahakumbh. Today I can say that the dream that had sown it has grown to a big tree." He further said that the government is supporting the athletes with schemes such as Shaktidoot. Khel Mahakumbh 2022: PM Narendra Modi Inaugurates 11th Khel Mahakumbh at Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad (See Pics).

"Are you proud of the achievements of our sportspersons? Youths from Gujarat are showing their prowess in India and abroad. There was a time when India's identity globally in the sports arena was just 1-2 sports. The attention it deserved was not given for a long time," he said.

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