Soon after landing in India on Monday, Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Bajrang Punia bowed down on his knees and kissed the ground, saying, "I promised you, I won't come empty handed."
He then urged his fans, who had thronged the airport, to follow Covid guidelines.
Bajrang had won the fourth bronze for India when he beat Daulet Niyazbekov of Kazakhstan in the repechage round of the 65kg category. The 26-year-old wrestler had clinched his bronze hours before javelin star Neeraj Chopra won the nation's sole gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
In a quick chat with IANS on arrival, Bajrang expressed his joy after receiving a "heart-warming" welcome. "I don't know what to say. This love people showered on me is beyond explanation. I just want to thank each one of them and please take full care since Covid is still here. People must follow the government guidelines and wear masks.
"We will be going to Ashoka Hotel now to meet Sports Minister Anurag Thakur ji and then to our respective homes, I guess," he added.
There was a huge crowd present at the IGI airport to welcome the Olympic stars who won medals in the mega sporting spectacles.
This year, the Games were held with Covid-19 restrictions and all the events were held behind closed doors. India recorded its best haul at the Olympics with seven medals (one gold, two silver, and four bronze).