Correspondent

BHUBANESWAR: Giving a major boost to the silver lining in the State's sports and athletics scenario, the Orissa squad participating in the ongoing Asian Power Lifting Championship in Mangolia have put up exceptional performances and four of them have bagged gold medals.

In the 56-kg master's category, Rayagada's Purna Chandra Bidika has claimed four gold medals taking his career graph to new heights. He now holds a record number of 34 medals that includes 17 gold. Similarly, Sangita Singh and Samita Barik, both belonging to the steel city of Rourkela, have won gold medals. Sangita topped in the 82-kg master's category, while Samita excelled in 90-kg category.

Purna Chandra, Sangita and Samita emerged as gold medalists in all the four categories they participated.

Former twice Asian champion woman power lifter Mandakini Mohanta from Mayurbhanja district, now a police woman, won a bronze medal in the championship.

Kartikeswar Jena, the other squad member, is yet to complete his turn.

This has been the best performance of the Orissa power lifters in the Asian meet so far.