Tendulkar meets Rio-bound wrestlers

Sachin Tendulkar, who is IOA’s goodwill ambassador for the Rio Olympics, shared some valuable tips to overcome challenges during the Rio Games.

Sachin Tendulkar (second from right, standing) met many Olympics-bound wrestlers and inspired them to do well in the Games.   -  PTI

Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar met the Olympic-bound Indian wrestling contingent at a hotel here and boosted their confidence ahead of the mega event in August.

With the exception of Yogeshwar Dutt (men’s 65 kg) and Sandeep Tomar (57 kg), all the wrestlers, who have secured Olympic quotas — Narsingh Yadav (men’s 74 kg), Vinesh Phogat (women’s 48 kg), Babita Kumari (women’s 53 kg), Sakshi Malik (women’s 58 kg), Ravinder Khatri (Greco-Roman 85 kg) and Hardeep (Greco-Roman 98 kg) — met the legendary batsman.

Even the coaches of all three formats were present on the occasion, along with Indian Olympic Association (IOA) secretary general Rajiv Mehta and Olympic-bound table tennis player Manika Batra.

Tendulkar today tweeted a couple of pictures of his meeting with the wrestling contingent.





Women’s wrestling team coach Kuldeep Singh, who was present on the occasion, said that the two-hour long meeting with Tendulkar proved to be a psychological boost for the wrestlers.

“Our wrestlers were very happy to meet Tendulkar. We had a meal together and then he spoke to the athletes and boosted their confidence ahead of the Rio Games. Speaking to him was a big psychological boost for our players,” the coach told PTI.

“He shared his own experiences, narrated a lot of stories and also spoke about how he dealt with all the pressure during his playing days,” he added.

The 43-year-old cricketer, who is IOA’s goodwill ambassador for the Rio Olympics, also shared some valuable tips to overcome challenges during the Rio Games.

“He told the athletes how to hide their own weaknesses and try to recognise and highlight the weaknesses of the opponents. He also told them to work on their strengths,” revealed Kuldeep.

“After taking the inputs from the coaches, he spoke to the wrestlers about the areas where they are lacking and how they could improve on those. Although, we, as coaches, keep telling them about the grey areas, when it comes from someone like Tendulkar, it really makes a difference.”

As IOA’s goodwill ambassador, Tendulkar has been meeting athletes who have qualified for the Olympics and encouraging them to give their best at the Games.