Am very proud of all our athletes, says Kiren Rijiju as Seema Bisla seals Olympics berth

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NEW DELHI: Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday said he is “very proud” of all the Indian athletes who are leaving no stone unturned in their preparation for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

Indian wrestler Seema Bisla secured a Tokyo Olympics berth in women’s 50kg after reaching the finals of the World Olympic Qualifier in Bulgaria on Friday.

The Sports Minister also congratulated the wrestler for bagging the Olympic berth. Applauding the athletes’ effort, Rijiju said: “I extend my hearty congratulations to wrestler #SeemaBisla who has qualified for Tokyo Olympic at the World Olympic Qualifier in Bulgaria. She is the 8th Indian wrestler to qualify for Tokyo. I am very proud of all our athletes for working hard to secure quotas for the Olympic.”

Seema becomes the fourth woman and eighth overall wrestler to qualify for the quadrennial event. With this India equals its previous best qualification of eight wrestlers from the 2016 Olympics.

Seema joins the elite company of Ravi Kumar Dahiya (57kg), Sumit Malik, (125kg) Bajrang Punia (65kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) in men’s freestyle and Vinesh Phogat (53kg), Anshu Malik (57kg) and Sonam Malik (62kg) in women weights for those who have qualified for the Olympics.

Meanwhile, Indian table tennis player Gnanasekaran Sathiyan said that he is hoping to put on a grand show at the Tokyo Olympic Games late this year and is working on different variations.

“We (coach S Raman and himself) are working on bringing more variation and pace to my game. That is one thing I need to work and handle better on the slow and fast balls. We are also trying a lot of variations in the serve and the receiving and bring in more surprise elements there,” he said at a media interaction facilitated by the Sports Authority of India.

Sathiyan also added that despite the lockdown his training with paddler Anirban Ghosh has been beneficial in keeping the momentum going with an eye on the Olympics.

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