City's paralympian S. Thirumalai Kumar, who qualified for the 2012 London Paralympics, was felicitated by Divisional Railway Manager Anurag and by the administrators of the Andhra Cricket Association here on Wednesday.
The 37-year-old athlete, a senior commercial clerk, heaved the disc to a distance of 38.07 metres at the Kuwait athletic meet to earn a silver and a berth in the prestigious event. ACA director (operations) M.S.K. Prasad said the determination of Mr. Kumar paid off. He and felt proud of the contribution of the Andhra under-16 players, who mobilised Rs. 35,000, and the ACA administrators which helped Mr. Kumar make it to Kuwait. “The media reports about the Ministry of Sports backing out from meeting the expenses of Mr. Kumar moved us. We are happy that he qualified for the London meet.” The role of Mr. Anurag was also worth mentioning, as he was instrumental in Mr. Kumar getting Rs. 2 lakh from the staff benefit fund. “We have already released Rs. 1 lakh and the rest will be released when he undergoes training for the prestigious event,” said SCR Vijayawada Divisional Welfare Officer Arjuna Rao.
Mr. Kumar will be participating in both discus and shot put events (sitting posture).
“I will be undergoing three-month training in London. I am sure of winning a medal as I am already covering a distance of 42 metres in disc throw during my training sessions, which is a medal-winning distance,” he said.
His impressive performance in the Kuwait meet earned him a berth in the London Paralympics