IOA hails TN govt for award, F1 to be 2010 CWG curtain raiser

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Chennai, Oct 8 (UNI) Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Suresh Kalmadi has hailed Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for announcing a cash award of Rs 25 lakhs to Grand Master Viswanathan Anand on winning the World chess crown for the second time.

In a chat with newspersons on the sidelines of the JK Tyres road racing national championships awards function, here last night, he said, ''It is commendable, at a time when we have raised voice against all the money going only to cricket.'' Mr Kalmadi said other state governments must come forward to emulate the Tamil Nadu government in rewarding sportspersons from their state whenever they bring laurels. ''We are happy that things are happening in this respect,'' he added.

Asked if the Centre would bring hockey back into the priority list following India Asia Cup victory, he said ''the IOA had already taken up the issue...The demotion seemed to have yielded positive results.'' About the allotment of National Games to Uttar Pradesh, he said ''We will give the Games to Uttar Pradesh, I have been talking to Chief Minister Mayawati directly. We will decide on the venue -- Noida or Lucknow -- whichever is preferred. I will be meeting Ms Mayawati soon.'' Mr Kalmadi dismissed reports that the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee had expressed displeasure over the slow pace of work on infrastructure facilities for the 2010 Games, which India was would be hosting in New Delhi, adding ''Work is going on smoothly.'' Exuding confidence that the F1 Grand Prix would come to India in March 2010 as allotted, he said it would be the right curtain raiser event for the Commonwealth Games, what with motorsport being recognised as an Olympic discipline.

UNI

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