Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday felicitated Indian men’s team members and coach for the spectacular victory in Thomas Cup 2022.
Chief National Coach Pullela Gopichand, Players Kidambi Srikanth, Dhruv Kapila, Pronoy HS, Priyanshu Rajawat, Vishnuvardhan Goud, GK Prasad, Arjun MR, Chirag Chandra Sekhar Shetty and Rakkireddy Satwik Sairaj were felicitated at a special function organized at Convention centre in Lok Seva Bhawan.
Patnaik honoured the Chief National Coach Gopichand with a shawl and memento.
All the team players received a Rs 10 lakh cash award each, shawl and a memento. The players also presented the Chief Minister with a Team India Jersey autographed player.
India won this coveted cup for the first time in the history of the Thomas cup championship since it started in 1948-49.
Apart from Hockey and Cricket, this is only the third sporting event where India became world champion in a team event.
Speaking on the occasion, Patnaik said India has now become a production centre for world champions in badminton.
It is the dawn of a new era of Indian domination in badminton. Across the country there is great interest among the kids and parents in badminton, he added.
Congratulating the Indian team players and coaches on becoming the World Champions, the Chief Minister said it’s a historic achievement and proud moment for the entire country that “our boys have become World Champions in a tough sport like badminton.”
A decade back, he said, it was unthinkable that India will start to dominate a sport like a badminton.
Thanks to the dedication and commitment of coaches like Gopi Chand and the support of the Badminton Association, and Central and State governments, India has been able to consistently perform well on the international stage in the last 10 years, he added.
Patnaik said Odisha is investing hugely in Badminton adding that in partnership with Gopi Chand, a state-of-the-art High-performance facility will be launched in the next few months.
He further said “We are constructing 89 Multi-purpose indoor halls across the State. These will primarily cater to the development of badminton in the state.
Many champions will emerge from Odisha in the coming years, he hoped.
We would also like to host the Odisha Open as an annual event and support more such international championships, he announced.
Indian Badminton team Chief National Coach Pullela Gopichand in his address said that while every state is promoting their own sports persons, Odisha is the only state that is promoting all sportspersons across the country.
Odisha, he said, is one of the pioneers in the promotion of sports now. ‘This celebration is an inspiration for us. So, thank You Odisha for this big support,’ an elated Gopichand said.