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Sportspersons felicitated

Correspondent

BHUBANESWAR: Close on the heels of the just concluded national women’s meet, the Department of Sports and Youth Services hosted a major event to felicitate sportspersons of the State with cash prizes at the Kalinga Stadium here on Friday.

The event that was launched after a gap of two years honoured 129 sportspersons, including 72 women, with a cash award of nearly Rs.11 lakhs who brought laurels for the State from national and international events during 2006-07.

Hockey stars

Of the 29 internationally acclaimed athletes and sportspersons, Olympian and SAF Games gold medal winner athlete Anuradha Biswal was at the top with an award of Rs.75,000 followed by women’s weight-lifting world champion Ranu Mohanty receiving Rs.50,000. Rowing sensation Pravasini Dwibedy and volleyball star Jhillilata Sen (in absentia) were offered Rs.40,000 and Rs.37,000 respectively.

Hockey stars – both men and women – had a lion’s share in the list of internationally acclaimed awardees though most of them were absent for their engagements elsewhere. The list included former Indian skipper Dilip Tirkey, Prabodh Tirkey, Ignes Tirkey and Jyoti Sunita Kulu. Similarly, as many as 26 women footballers were felicitated – the largest contingent among all the categories.

Among the awardees who received thunderous applause while receiving felicitations were four differently-abled people, including three badminton players and an athlete. Budding internationally acclaimed chess players Kiran Manisha Mohanty and S. Pragyan were among the awardees.

State Election Commissioner S.C. Hota, Sports and Youth Services Secretary Tara Dutt and Sports Authority of India’s representative P.C. Kashyap were present on the occasion as special guests.

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