Bhubaneswar:21/2/23: In a ceremony held today at the Biju Patnaik Weightlifting Hall at the Kalinga Stadium, Minister of Tusharkanti BeheraTusharkanti Behera, Chairman Hockey Promotion Council of Odisha, Dilip Tirkey and Joint Secretary to Government, Sailendra Jena, felicitated cash awards to state athletes who won medals at the Khelo India Youth Games 2022 and other athletic meets in the past year. Total cash award of Rs 1.85crore, was given away at the felicitation ceremony today
Odisha athletes had a fantastic run at the KIYG 2022, their best performance yet winning a total of 30 medals, including 11 Gold, 8 Silver, and 11 Bronze. The government honoured their achievement by awarding cash prizes of Rs 1 lakh, Rs 75,000, and Rs 50,000 for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, respectively, to every medal winner, regardless of whether their accomplishment was in a team or individual sport.
Among the KIYG athletes facilitated were, Dondapati Mrutyam Jayaram who won Gold in 100m Run and was awarded Rs 1 Lakh; Sabita Toppo won Gold in Long Jump and 100m Hurdles, and was awarded Rs 2 Lakhs; Swagat Kumar Behera won Silver in Triple Jump and was awarded Rs 75,000; Merymukta Soreng won Bronze in Triple Jump and was awarded Rs 50,000. The 400M Boys relay team than won a gold and the 400M Girl’s relay team that won a Silver were granted Rs 4 Lakhs and Rs 2 Lakhs respectively.
The 18-member Hockey Men’s Team that secured a silver medal, following a hard-fought loss to hosts Madhya Pradesh in the final received a cash award of Rs. 75,000 for each member
Also recognised were the Gold winning Kho-Kho Women’s Team and Bronze winning Kho-Kho Men’s team, who received cash prizes of Rs 1 Lakh and Rs 75,000 each, respectively.
Sohini Sanjay Mohanty and Aradhya Verma from the Tennis team received Rs. 1 Lakh each for their phenomenal performance in the Girls Doubles category that secured them an all-important Gold.
The State Rowing Team was also felicitated for their showing at KIYG 2022. The Men’s team bagged a Gold in Coxless Pair and a Silver in Quadruple Sculls, while the Women’s contingent brought home a Silver in Double Sculls and a Bronze medal in Coxless Four.For the first time since its inception, the Khelo India Youth Games featured Kayaking and Canoeing. Odisha bagged an impressive haul of 7 medals. In the individual category Pukhrambam Roji Devi was felicitated for Women’s K1 200 M and K1 500 M, along with Neha Devi Leichonbam for Women’s C1 200m, Tomthilnganba Ngashepam for Men’s K1 1000m, and Irom Borish Singh for Men’s K1 200M
All athletes from the Rowing and Kayaking and Canoeing contingent were rewarded similarly with cash prizes of Rs 1 lakh, Rs 75,000, and Rs 50,000 each for Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals.
Apart from their stellar exploits in Khelo India, athletes from Odisha have been impressive in several global competitions as well. The latter half of the felicitation ceremony was dedicated to them.
Para Athlete Pramod Bhagat was recognized for his performance at the BWF Para Badminton Championship, where he earned an individual Gold and a team Silver. He was rewarded with a total of Rs 27 Lakh. While Para Athlete Jayanti Behara, who secured three medals at the WAS World Games ,2022, Portugal received a total of 54 Lakhs for her two Golds in 200M and 400M and a Silver in 100M. Sabita Toppo won a total cash reward of Rs 2,92,000 for her achievements at the 4 Asian Youth Athletic Championship.
The members of the Indian Hockey Team that secured Bronze Medals in Hero Asia Cup, 2022 and Men’s Asian Champions Trophy were honoured with cash prizes as well. Dipsan Tirkey, and Neelam Sanjeep Xess received cash award of Rs 3,75,000 each while Birendra Lakra and Abhiskek Lakhra received Rs 2,50,000 each for their showing at the Hero Asia Cup 2022. Similarly, Shilananda Lakhra received Rs 1,25,000 for the Men’s Asian Champions Trophy.
Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera congratulated the athletes on their remarkable performance and thanked them for bringing glory to the state. He said, “You have made Odisha proud with your hard work, determination, and sportsmanship. Your success at KIYG 2022 and international tournaments is a testament to your talent and potential, and the potential of our beloved State. I am confident that you will continue to shine in your future endeavours.”
Among the others felicitated were Saina Salonika (Chess), Shriynaka Sadangi (Shooting), Swasti Singh (Cycling), Senior Women’s Kho-Kho Team, Ayush Patnaik, Abhinash Mohanty, Abhijit Maharana and Harshita Rout (Badminton). The medal winners of the 37th Junior National Athletics Championship were also awarded with cash prizes to encourage the young athletes.The felicitation ceremony was attended by the athletes, their coaches, and family members, as well as officials from the Sports and Youth Services Department, Odisha. The event was marked by joy, pride, and camaraderie, as the athletes celebrated their success and thanked the government for its recognition and encouragement.