Flagbearer MC Mary Kom leads the Indian contingent during the closing ceremony of Commonwealth Games 2018, Gold Coast, Australia, on Sunday. Image Credit: PTI

New Delhi: After the Indian contingent finished third in the medals tally at the just concluded 21st Commonwealth Games (CWG), an elated Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Chief Narinder Dhruv Batra on Monday said the nation is on the right path to become a sporting powerhouse.

With a total of 66 medals, which included a grand haul of 26 Gold medals, 20 Silver and 20 Bronze at the Gold Coast Games, the Indian contingent surpassed the tally of 64 with 15 golds, achieved at the last edition of the quadrennial event at Glasgow in 2014.

Congratulating the athletes, Batra said: “On behalf of the IOA, I would like to congratulate each and every athlete who participated in the Commonwealth Games and brought glory to the country.”

“Their hard work has paid rich dividends and I can proudly say that we as a nation are on the right path to becoming a sporting powerhouse,” the IOA chief opined.

Significantly, the 2018 CWG also became India’s third best outing ever in the event’s history. Over the entire stretch of the event at the Gold Coast, Indian athletes shattered 11 CWG records.

“I wish all the athletes the very best in this Olympic cycle and hope they continue to improve upon their performance in the lead up to 2018 Asian Games and the 2020 Olympic Games,” Batra concluded.

Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Indian contingent’s success made every Indian proud and hoped it would motivate the young to pursue sports as well as create awareness on the importance of fitness.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi also tweeted to congratulate the Indian team for its third place in the Games, held in Australia.

“India’s contingent at the 2018 Commonwealth Games has made every Indian extremely proud. All our sportspersons gave their best and played very well. I congratulate all those athletes who are bringing back medals,” Modi tweeted.

He added that athletes who represented India at the Games inspire people.

“Their life stories illustrate the power of dedication and a never-say-die attitude that made them overcome countless hurdles to attain the heights of success they did at the CWG,” he said.

The prime minister hoped India’s success at the Games motivated more youngsters to pursue sports and create awareness on the importance of fitness in everybody’s lives.

“On our part, we in the Government are doing everything possible to strengthen the #FitIndia movement,” Modi said.