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17-member Indian athletics squad to train in Antalya

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New Delhi: As part of the preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympics, a 17-member Indian athletics squad will leave early Saturday from here for a 70-day training stint at the state-of-the-art training centre at Antalya in Turkey, it was announced on Friday.

The squad comprises of the national campers for quarter-mile event, 400 metres hurdles, and the 4×400 metres relay events for both men and women, according to a release from the Athletics Federation of India (AFI).

A total of eight women, nine men and five coaches and support staff are part of the squad, with two more support staff and other athletes expected to join the Antalya training camp in a fortnight’s time.

“The AFI will strive to do everything under its limit to provide the best training facilities to our athletes for 2016 Olympics. The training centre in Antalya in Turkey offers the right combination of climatic conditions, namely, sea, land, hills and forest areas, and also a synthetic hill track for the training of our athletes,” AFI president Adille J Sumariwalla said.

“We hope these world-class training conditions will make a difference to the preparation of our athletes for Rio and I extend my best wishes to all of them. I’m also grateful to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for supporting our athletes.”

The 4×400 metres women’s relay squad is the reigning Asian Games champion and Asian Games record-holder while the men’s 4×400 metres relay team has won a medal in the past at the Asian Games.

In the men’s and women’s 400 metres individual events, Rajiv Arokia and MR Poovamma won the bronze medal in the 2014 Asian Games respectively, and recently, the duo come close to qualifying for the 2016 Olympics.

Star athlete Ashwini Akunji had won two gold medals in the 2010 Asian Games, including one for the hurdles race.

(IANS)

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In a first, government to confer Khel Ratna to 4 athletes

The Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to Satti Geetha (athletics), Sylvanus Dung Dung (hockey) and Rajendra Pralhad Shelke (rowing).

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PV Sindhu Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

New Delhi, August 22,2016: In an unprecedented move, the country’s highest sporting award – Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna-will be conferred upon four athletes with Olympic medallists P V Sindhu and Sakshi Malik set to be honoured alongside trail-blazing gymnast Dipa Karmakar and ace shooter Jitu Rai.

The Sports Ministry announced this to day.

While shutter Sindhu created history by becoming the first female athlete from India to win a silver in the just-concluded Rio Olympics, Sakshi bagged a bronze in the 58kg female wrestling.

Rio Olympics 2016 Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Rio Olympics 2016
Image Source:
Wikimedia Commons

Dipa, India’s first female gymnast to qualify for Olympics, went on to miss a bronze by 0.15 points but her clean finish in the high-risk Produnova vault won the hearts of the nation, while Jitu bagged over half a dozen medals in the past two years, including gold at Asiad and Commonwealth Games and a silver in World Championships, which booked his ticket to Rio.

Besides, the Ministry also selected 15 athletes for this year’s Arjuna Award. The notable names in the list are boxer Shiva Thapa, long distance runner Lalita Babar, cricketer Ajinkya Rahane, hockey players VR Raghunath and Rani Rampal among others.

This year’s Dronacharya Award has been conferred upon six coaches, the most notable among being Dipa’s coach Bishweshwar Nandi and India Test team captain Virat Kohli’s mentor Raj Kumar Sharma.

Besides Nandi, others who will honoured with the Dhronacharya Award are Nagapuri Ramesh (athletics), Sagar Mal Dhayal (boxing), Pradeep Kumar (swimming, lifetime) and Mahabir Singh (wrestling, lifetime).

The Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to Satti Geetha (athletics), Sylvanus Dung Dung (hockey) and Rajendra Pralhad Shelke (rowing).

Besides, the Punjabi University of Patiala will be awarded the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2015-16.

The National Sports Awards are given every year to recognise and reward excellence in sports.

The Khel Ratna Award is given for spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years. Apart from a medal and a citation, the Khel Ratna Awardee will receive a cash prize of Rs 7.5 lakh.

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The Arjuna Award is given for consistent performance over four years, while the Dronacharya Award is given to coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious international sports events and the Dhyan Chand Award for lifetime contribution to sports development.

Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Awardees will receive statuettes, certificates and cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each.

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The Recipients of Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar will be given trophies and certificates. Overall top performing university in inter-university tournaments will be given MAKA Trophy, award money of Rs 10 lakh and certificates (IANS).

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