New Delhi: Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has appealed to India's 26-member track and field team headed for the Tokyo Olympics to enjoy the pressure and not let it get to them. Tendulkar bid farewell to the players online with the Athletics Federation of India (AFI). In the virtual event, Tendulkar asked the athletes to pursue their dream of winning a medal in the Olympics without stopping.
Tendulkar said that a lot of people say that there is victory and defeat in the game but my message is that defeat should be your opponent's and you should win. You should try to win medals. Don't give up on chasing your dreams and your dream should be wearing a medal around your neck, playing the national anthem and hoisting the tricolor. The track and field team consists of 46 members consisting of 25 players plus 11 coaches, 8 support staff, a team doctor and a team leader. The team will leave for Tokyo on 23 July.
Tendulkar said pressure is a player's companion in all sports and it is important that it is used for better performance. People's expectations have increased due to your better performance. This is a good thing. I have always enjoyed the pressure and expectations of people. You have to convert it into positive energy. The athletics events will be held from July 30 to August 8. India is expecting a medal from javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra. Earlier 26 players were named in the AFI's list but the name of pedestrian Gurpreet Singh was not in the detailed list (required for accreditation) submitted a few months back. The AFI tried at the last minute to get recognition for this 50 km walk player but was unsuccessful.
Tendulkar drew parallels to his illustrious cricketing career with athletes saying that when India won the World Cup in 1983, I was a little kid and I wanted to lift that trophy one day. That day came in 2011 and till then no host country had become a World Cup winner. That was the best moment of my life. You cannot wish to achieve more than this. He also advised the athletes to face the bad times in their career with strength. He said that I faced it when I had tennis elbow and shoulder surgery. I wanted to play matches to make a comeback and went to England for that. AFI President Adil Sumariwala also expressed hope that the athletics team can win an Olympic medal this time.