State stars bask in glory

Governor presents KOA awards to achievers

State stars bask in glory

It was a proud moment for a bunch of talented athletes of the State at the Karnataka Olympic Association (KOA) awards ceremony here at the Yavanika auditorium, State Youth Centre, on Thursday.

Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala gave away the awards to 12 upcoming sportspersons and three former stars. "The athletes of our country must always exhibit sportsman spirit. I congratulate them for their achievements and I appreciate KOA for recognising and encouraging these youngsters," he said.

Among the 15 picked for the awards, hockey forward Pradhan Somanna and judoka Avinash V were absent.

"This is the first ever award I am receiving. It's a special feeling and I thank the KOA for the support. I want to bring more laurels to the country. This year will be a challenging one for me as I am moving to the senior category and I am working hard to do well," said Kushi V, the young table tennis player who won the team gold at the Tunisia Cadet and Junior ITTF ranking tournament last year.

KOA president K Govindaraj said the association will be hosting the awards next time at the Olympic Bhavan at the premises of the Sree Kanteerava stadium.

"The Olympic Bhavan is nearing completion and it will be inaugurated this year. I thank the government for providing the space to construct it and I am happy to announce that we will hold the awards at the Bhavan next year," he said.

Home minister Ramalinga Reddy hoped for more medals from the State athletes this year. "From the government's end, we will do our best to provide the best of facilities in all sports. The chief minister is pushing for a sports budget of Rs 400 crore this year and I hope our efforts produce the desired results," he said.

Former internationals B K Subramani (hockey midfielder), Balaji Narasimhan (football goalkeeper) and Udaya Kumar (tennis player) were felicitated in the veterans' category.

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