London Mayor Boris Johnson, who is currently on a six-day tour of India to promote business links, on Monday, lauded the performance of Indian sportspersons who participated at the 2012 London Olympics and dubbed the country's performance as the best ever till date.
Johnson handed over a petal off the 204 petals of the Olympic cauldron that were dismantled during the closing ceremony of the London Olympics.
Addressing children and Olympic medal winners, Mary Kom and Vijay Kumar who were also present at the function, Johnson congratulated the country for its performance.
"These are petals and there are 204 of them. These are the second and third petals. We gave one to the Brazilians because they are the next Olympic country and these are to go to India. I am delighted to say that in the 2012 Olympics, these are my heartfelt congratulations to you to all the incredible athletes we have her today. India did better than it has ever done before in the Olympics," said Johnson.
He also said that the petal should inspire sportspersons in India to go for gold in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
"The reason that we wanted to give these petals to the Indian Olympic committee is to inspire you after all the wonderful sport that you have been doing, to inspire you to go on to be the next great Olympic champions in the future, to inspire you to go for gold. Go for gold India in 2016 and 2020, 2024," said Johnson.
India's medal tally at the London Olympics was six, the best ever.
Shooters Vijay Kumar and Gagan Narang clinched a silver and bronze medal respectively.
In boxing, Indian woman boxer, Mary Kom won a bronze. A world champion before she took the Olympic stage, Mary Kom won her world amateur titles at 46 and 48kg but had to move up to 51kg for the Olympics, which was the lightest of the three weight categories in London.
Indian wrestlers, Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt bagged a silver and bronze in wrestling respectively with Badminton player, Saina Nehwal bagging a bronze medal. (ANI)