Olympians V. Diju (badminton) and Tintu Luka (athletics) have been picked for the 2012 G.V. Raja award — .the highest sporting honour of the State instituted by the Kerala State Sports Council.

Announcing their selection for the prestigious award, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the award carrying a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh each, a plaque and a certificate will be distributed at a public function here at a later date convenient to the winners.

Diju was selected for the award in the men’s section on the basis of his performances through the last two years including the silver medal that he won with the Indian team at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi while what fetched Tintu the honour in the women’s section were the bronze medals that she won in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China and the 2011 Asian athletics championships in Kobe, Japan.

The selection was done from among 41 applicants, including 28 women, by a panel headed by the KSSC president, Padmini Thomas and secretary, P.S. Abdul Rassak.

The Chief Minister said that the special awards already announced by the Government to Tom Joseph, who has been consistently sidelined for the Arjuna award through the last nine years and to T.D. Joseph (Pappan), V.P. Sathyan and K.K. Premachandran (all posthumously) who were not awarded the National award during their lifetime would also be distributed at the same function.

Mr. Chandy also announced that the College Games, involving colleges of all the universities in the State and being revived by the KSSC after a gap of almost a decade, will be held at various centres in Thiruvananthapuram in February next year. The college winning the overall championship title would be awarded a special trophy instituted in memory of the late Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi.

Besides, a cash award of Rs. 1 lakh each would also be presented to the colleges, which tops the points table in the men’s and women’s sections. Attractive cash awards will also be given to individual winners and winning teams. The exact dates of the Games will be announced in due course.

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