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Indian kabaddi team dedicates World Cup trophy to soldiers martyred in Uri attack

A brilliant gesture by coach Balwan Singh wins the public's hearts

Kasinathan Baskaran Ajay Thakur Pardeep Narwal Surender Nada Anup Kumar Balwan Singh Manjeet Chhillar Surjeet Sandeep Narwal 2016 Kabaddi World Cup final 2016 KWC final post match press conference
The Indian team remembered the Uri martyrs in the post match press conference

In a grand gesture after the match, the Indian kabaddi team, led by coach Balwan Singh, dedicated the World Cup trophy to the martyred soldiers of the Uri attacks. The team were quick to remember the fallen in the terrorist attacks in the Jammu and Kashmir town of Uri, near the LoC by saying that the trophy is for them.

19 soldiers were killed when 4 militants ambushed the Indian Army brigade headquarters and lobbed grenades at the brave men near Uri in the Baramulla district of the country’s northmost state.

Remembering the martyrs was the first thing on coach Balwan Singh’s mind in the team’s post-match press conference after India beat Iran 38-29 to lift the World Cup trophy.

“I want to dedicate this win to the soldiers who died in the Uri attacks last month,” was the first thing the coach said. He repeated this once again before the press conference ended to ensure the message that went across was loud and clear.

India is our temple: Balwan Singh

The Indian team has been saluting the heroes in the Indian Army, that risk their lives to protect our borders, in every match by standing together and performing a salute. It has become a common sight for the people watching the Kabaddi World Cup as the Indian camp stands on all four sides of the mat and salutes the Indian Army post each match.

The coach was in a philosophical mood as he also talked about “India being their temple” before explaining how the team does not discriminate between religions.

When quizzed about which temple the Indian team sought blessings from before the game, Balwan Singh said, “The whole country (India) is our temple. Be it Mosques, Temples, Gurudwaras or any place of worship, they are one for us and we sought blessings from all.”

“We wanted to give glory to the nation”

The defiant, yet level-headed Balwan Singh also shot down questions about prize money the team might receive by the government and sponsors after winning the tournamentby saying that it did not matter if they are showered with prizes or not, as long as they receive the fans’ love.

“We don’t care about prize money or awards. We care about winning the hearts of the people and giving glory to the nation. We wanted to give the nation something to be proud of and something to remember us by. I believe we’ve done that,” quipped the experienced coach.

This gesture by the Indian coach will forever remain etched in our hearts as a nation that stood together to remember its heroes.

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