Correspondent

Despite sterling performances Ranu Mohanty fails to find sponsors

She is selected to represent the country at the tourney to be held in Canada next month

Except for cricket association, none responded to her plea for financial support

BHUBANESWAR: Disappointed at not finding any sponsors to enable her to participate in the forthcoming world power-lifting championship, the ‘strong woman’ in weightlifting Ranu Mohanty has threatened to quit athletics.

Addressing newspersons here on Tuesday, Ms. Ranu, who did the nation proud by bagging six gold, seven silver and one bronze medals in various international, continental and national meets in the past four years, said that she was selected to represent the country during the forthcoming World Power Lifting Championship to be held in Canada from November 2 to 7. “This will be my third participation in world championship. I need at least Rs.2.35 lakhs to fly to Canada and take up the mandatory dope test. Since I am unemployed and the State weightlifting and power lifting associations are not financially sound to support my trip, I have appealed to the State Government, several corporate houses and even the Chief Minister for support. I am yet to receive any response. The Orissa Cricket Association has agreed to provide an assistance of Rs.50,000,” Ms. Ranu said.

Losing focus

“For the last 10 years, I have been striving to maintain my track record. I did the State and the nation proud with my achievements. When I am supposed to focus on my practice, I am forced to look out for sponsors, which is distracting,” said Ms. Ranu.

She emerged as the national champion at the recently concluded senior national championship held at Durg in Chhattisgarh in the 75 kg category to claim her participation in the world meet, informed Ms. Ranu’s coach and mentor Hariprasad Patnaik. The acclaimed athlete represented India in the Asian championship thrice bagging gold once and silver twice, he added. Equally adept at weightlifting, Ms. Ranu bagged the bronze medal in squat segment in the 2006 World Championship held in Norway.