The proud members of the senior Indian volleyball team, which earned a bronze medal in the recent Asian Cup championship in Iran, the first medal win at the Asian level in 24 years (India had won a bronze in the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul), were felicitated at a function here on Monday.

Speaking on the occasion, the State Minister for sports, youth welfare and environment, T.P.M. Mohideen Khan complimented the Volleyball Federation of India for nurturing talent and providing all facilities for their growth and success.

He said the Tamil Nadu government on its part had been recognising the achievements of sportspersons and in recent times had disbursed cash awards worth over Rs.3 crore.

He had a special word of praise for the pioneering work of B.S. Adityan, the VFI President. The Minister presented a cheque for Rs.10 lakh to the team for the good show in Iran. Thereafter, he presented each team member with a merit certificate. The players present were Guruchand Singh (captain), G. Pradeep, Sube Singh, Navjit Singh, Shelton Moses, Vibin George, Sanjay Kumar, Gurinder Singh, Ukkrapandian, Balwinder Singh, Kanakaraj (Mandeep Singh was absent), G.E. Sridharan (head coach), Desh Raj (asst coach), Dr Abhimanyu Singh (Trainer), S. Rajasekhar (Manager) and J. Nadarajan (Technical Official).

Peaking at the right time

Earlier, Mr Adityan said that he was glad that the senior team was peaking well for the main goal of winning a medal at the Asian Games in Guangzhou in November. Coach Sridharan said the team's show was in keeping with the fine facilities the VFI provided, mentioning in particular the Sivanthi Aditanar complex in Tiruchendur.

He said the team's confidence was on a high ever since the Dhaka South Asian Games title triumph in January. “We will be going for the gold in the Asian Games,” said Sridharan, winning a round of cheers.

On behalf of the team members, Sanjay Kumar, who was adjudged the best scorer in the Asian Cup, said he and his colleagues were looking beyond the Asian Games and aiming to play in the World championship and Olympics.

Also present on the occasion were K. Murugan, VFI Secretary-General and G. Muthusamy, Principal Secretary, Youth Welfare and sports.

Keywords: Asian Cup

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