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'He's a People's PM!' From India to Pakistan, Modi's Consolation to Wrestler Pooja Gehlot Wins Hearts

 India Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Left) and Wrestler Pooja Gehlot. (Photo: News18)

After bronze-winner wrestler Pooja Gehlot broke down on camera on being unable to win the gold medal for India at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quick to console and congratulate the athlete for her achievements, while reminding Gehlot of her bright future ahead.

Modi’s response made the day of many Indians, who were glad to see the Prime Minister readily boosting the morale of Gehlot, who had made the country proud by winning the bronze medal in the women’s 50kg freestyle wrestling.

Tagging a video of Gehlot, who got emotional and apologised to the people, Modi said, “Pooja, your medal calls for celebrations, not an apology. Your life journey motivates us, your success gladdens us. You are destined for great things aheadkeep shining!"

Even a Pakistani journalist appreciated the PM’s response, asking whether the Pakistan prime minister or President ‘even knew that athletes are winning medals’.

Some also appreciated the PM’s ‘gesture despite not agreeing with his brand of politics’, calling it an incredible thing for a head of a state to say to a sportsperson. Athletes also hailed the PM’s encouraging words.

Others expressed adoration at the prime minister’s gesture, and at the ‘highest authority’ in the land having the athlete’s back.

Some saw it as an affirmation of Modi being a ‘people’s PM’ and being interested to advance sports in the country.

Gehlot had won bronze in the Women’s Freestyle 50 kg event at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games on Saturday. Christelle Lamofack Letchidjio of Scotland was defeated 12-2 by her.

She began her campaign with a 12-2 win over Scotland’s Christelle Lamofack Letchidjio in her first Group A match, but Cameroon’s Rebecca Ndoto Mumbo forfeited the match. She was defeated in the quarterfinals by Madison Parks of Canada. The wrestler had won silver in the 53 kg category at the 2019 U23 World Wrestling Championships, becoming only the second Indian woman to do so. Gehlot competed in this championship after a two-year absence due to a shoulder injury.

After her win, she addressed the media, a visibly upset Gehlot said, “I apologise to my compatriots. I wished that the National Anthem be played here… But I will learn from my mistakes, and work on them." However, the Prime Minister’s response is sure to have made the athlete’s day and lifted her spirits.

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