C.P.R. Sudhir Kumar, the champion weightlifter, bags the Ekalavya Award
Inside a stifling Banquet Hall at the Vidhana Soudha last week, C.P.R. Sudhir Kumar revealed, as he feverishly dabbed at his brow with a handkerchief, that he had denied his wife the Ekalavya award.
“Though this was her year she did not win it,” he said, “because I did.” What the 32-year-old weightlifter meant, of course, was that two athletes from the same sport were not going to receive the accolade in the same year.
If Sudhir is a winner of Commonwealth Games bronze medals in 2006 and 2010, wife Chandreshori Devi – in attendance last Monday as Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda presented the award – is current National champion in the 58kg category. He in fact was injured and not participating, but was present on the day Chandreshori won that gold in the National championships in Bangalore, interpreting as the Manipuri apprehensively fronted the press.
Yet to recover from the injury, Sudhir hoped he would be fit in time for this year's edition of the competition, scheduled for December in Orissa.
Of the Ekalavya award though, Sudhir expressed slight disappointment. “I expected it a few years earlier,” he said, “but I'm glad it has come late than not at all.”