"Had a great interaction with our athletes who won medals in 2014 Asian Games. They are truly India's pride!" Modi tweeted after the breakfast meeting, which was also attended by Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

India won 57 medals, including 11 gold, at the Asian Games in Incehon, Korea. The country finished eighth in the overall standings.

Congratulating those who had brought laurels for the country at the Asian Games, Modi expressed hope that the combination of his 'enthusiasm' and the 'spirit' of the sportspersons would bring good results for the nation

Citing the successful launch of Mangalyaan by the nation's scientists recently, the Prime Minister said a sportsperson's achievements bring similar respect and pride for all Indians.

The Prime Minister urged the assembled sportspersons to feel free to give their suggestions to him, and to call on him personally if they had anything specific to talk about.
He said they should consider him their 'friend', an official release said.

He appreciated the efforts made for the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan' by boxer M C Mary Kom, who won a gold medal in the Asian Games, and Sachin Tendulkar. Modi said the two had much greater visibility than him while wielding the broom.

"He said sports persons do as much for the country as political leaders," the release stated.

The Prime Minister said that the corporate world is now coming forward to promote specific sports, and this augurs well for the future. He urged award-winning sportspersons, who can speak well, to deliver talks in Universities to inspire the youth.

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