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Indian Olympians receive momentos from London Mayor

November 26, 2012 13:08 IST

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson personally delivered a memento of London's thrilling Olympic and Paralympic Games to India's six medal winning athletes on Monday.

Every nation which competed at the London Games was represented by an individual copper petal on the spectacular Olympic and Paralympic cauldrons, designed by Thomas Heatherwick, which burnt throughout the summer's Games.

The petals are now being offered to each country as a legacy of their sporting achievements this summer, and will be delivered around the globe before the end of the year.

On Monday, Johnson met Pradeep Kumar Deb, Secretary, Department of Sports of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, acting president of the Indian Olympic Association, and India's bronze medallist boxer MC Mary Kom and silver medal winning pistol shooter, Vijay Kumar, to present the set of petals to India, at a ceremony hosted by the British High Commission.

On the occasion, Mary Kom said she hoped that India will do better in the next Olympics in Rio in 2016.

"I am very happy we are getting the Olympic petal. Next to Brazil... I hope Indian team will do better in the next Olympic," Mary Kom said.

In total 204 Olympic petals and 164 Paralympic petals will be offered to competing nations.

India's was the third set of petals to be presented, with the first handed over by London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games chairman, Sebastian Coe to the British Olympic Association.

"I want to congratulate all the incredible Indian athletes we have here today. India did better than it's ever done before in the Olympics. Well done! Fantastic achievement," said Johnson at the unveiling ceremony of the petal.

"The reason we wanted to give these petals to the Indian Olympic community is to inspire you to be the great Olympic champions in the future, to inspire you to go for gold in 2016," he added.

The acting president of IOA, VK Malhotra praised London for the hospitality during the Olympic Games.

"London Olympics have been remarkable for many points as far as India is concerned. It was a great success. Everything went very smoothly. It was a flawless performance. Hospitality was superb. When we went there we had some sort of apprehension that there will be some chaotic conditions there as far as transport is concerned, but it was very smooth there," said Malhotra.

"After the London Olympics, sports got a great boost in India. We hope in the next Olympics, we will be winning more medals. All those who have come here today brought glory to India and made India proud, and the Commonwealth Games was also a great success. I thank very much for the honour they have given to India.

"I'd like to present Mayor of London with a silver lotus petal with lord ganesha and I think he'll accept it with great honour, and to the High Commissioner a silver plate and a tie from Indian Olympic Association," he added.

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