India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the budget of the Modi government, the final one, of this term ahead of the Loksabha elections. During her speech she lauded India’s sportspersons for their massive achievement especially last year as she pointed out India’s Chess prodigy R Praggnanandhaa who became world number one and India athletes in Asian and Para-Asian Games who brought laurel to the country.
For the unversed, India registered its highest ever medal tally at the Asian Games in Hangzhou last year reaching the three-digit mark for the first time in history. The Indian athletes overall won a mammoth 107 medals at the Games, easily their best having won 70 in Jakarta Games in 2018. As for the Para Athletes, they also made the country proud with their best performance ever winning as many as 111 medals including 29 gold, 31 silver and 51 bronze medals.
“The country is proud of our youth scaling new heights in sports. The highest-ever medal tally in Asian Games and Asian Para Games in 2023 reflects a high confidence level. Chess prodigy and our no.1 ranked player Praggnanandhaa up a stiff fight against the reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen in 2023. Today, India has over 80 Chess Grandmasters compared to a little over 20 in 2010,” she said.
R Praggnanandhaa had a special mention as he achieved top ranking in December in Chess and prior that, he had also become the youngest ever to reach the final of Chess World Cup. Even the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met the Chess Prodigy to laud him for his massive achievement post the World Cup. On Wednesday (January 31), India President Droupadi Murmu too had highlighted that 2023 was an year of accomplishments for the country while pointing out India’s best performance ever at the Asian Games last year.