Hyderabad

Olympics-bound athletes, coaches felicitated

Tennis star Sania Mirza and ace shuttler Saina Nehwal at the felicitation function on Tuesday. Photo: K. Ramesh Babu  

The Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) felicitated the Olympics-bound athletes at a gala function here on Tuesday.

Apart from the athletes representing the State, Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal, Ashwani Ponnappa, Gutta Jwala, Parupallu Kashyap, V. Diju, Sandeep Kumar, Sawaran Singh and Manjeet Singh, those felicitated included coaches Pullela Gopichand, Ismail Baig (rowing), M. A. Aziz (technical official in judo) and P. Ravi Shankar (SAAP archery coach) who is presenting a paper in the Pre-Olympic Congress in Liverpool. Sports Minister Vatti Vasanth Kumar was the chief guest.

Right motivation

“I believe that this function would provide the right kind of motivation for all of us to produce something special in Olympics. We have always been getting great support from the State government over the years and are indeed grateful to learn now that it is also going to implement two per cent job quota very soon for sportspersons,” Mr. Gopichand said.

Two-time Grand Slam tennis champion Sania Mirza said all athletes would consider it an honour to represent India in Olympics. “I take pride in being a Hyderabadi,” she remarked.

“We cannot promise medals, but definitely we will give more than 100 per cent in our efforts to come up with a special performance at the Olympics,” she added.

Ace shuttler and one of India’s best medal prospects, Saina Nehwal, felt that the State team could pull off major surprises. India’s premier women’s doubles shuttlers Ashwani Ponnappa and Gutta Jwala said asserted that they would do their best.

It is a wonderful evening and it is a great gesture on behalf of State government to felicitate the Olympics-bound athletes from the State, remarked Mr. Gopichand. Perhaps, reflecting the general mood and opinion of the stars who are expected to twinkle in London in this month-end’s ‘Mother of All Battles’.


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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 2:06:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/olympicsbound-athletes-coaches-felicitated/article3626567.ece

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