Rio Olympics silver medallist shuttler P V Sindhu and bronze winner grappler Sakshi Malik along with gymnast Dipa Karmakar and badminton coach Pullela Gopichand were on Sunday presented BMW cars by cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar in Mumbai.
Hyderabad District Badminton Association president Chamundeshwarnath gifted the luxury cars to the four sportspersons for their outstanding achievement in the recently-concluded Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Tendulkar, who was the Goodwill Ambassador of the Indian team at Rio Olympics, handed over the keys at a function at Gopichand Badminton Academy here.
Under the guidance of chief coach Gopichand, Sindhu clinched the silver medal in women’s singles making her the first Indian woman sportsperson to win a silver in the Olympics. Wrestler Sakshi had bagged a bronze in women’s freestyle 58kg class.
Dipa who missed a medal by a whisker, had finished fourth in the vault event and stunned the world by attempting the risky Produnova vault.
On the occasion, Gopichand appreciated the performances of Sindhu, Sakshi and Dipa.
“The three ladies have made fantastic efforts. India said other day, ‘Save the Girl Child’ was the norm, but now it is ‘saved by the girl’ (post results in Rio Olympics). Thank you very much for keeping our honour and pride,” he said.
Applauding the girls, he said, “Congratulations to all three of you. Your effort is nothing less than the gold. Over the years, last time (during last Olympics) we had a bronze (Saina Nehwal). Today, thanks to Sindhu’s effort we are here with a silver.”
He also praised Tendulkar saying he is a great ambassador for sports.
Shuttler P V Sindhu recalled, “When I was gifted a Swift Dzire earlier, Sachin sir told me that if I would win an Olympic medal he would definitely gift me another car. That happened today. I thank Sachin sir and Chamundi sir for gifting me a car.”
Sindhu said she is thankful to everyone and added “because of your blessings I am here.”
“Overall it is my dream and it has come true that I had to get an Olympic medal. I am thankful to my coach because the whole journey till now I am with him. In the upcoming tournaments, definitely I will get laurels for the country,” she said.
Overwhelmed by the felicitations, Sakshi said, “I went alone (to Rio) and now entire India is with me. Continue with your love so that I can convert my bronze into gold at Tokyo Olympics. Thanks for honouring me.”
Dipa also thanked everyone saying “bina medal key bhi itna mujhe support mil raha hain (I am getting so much support without even winning a medal). Thank you Sachin sir.”
(With PTI inputs)