Reward from state main motivation to be in National Games

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Tapan Mohanta

Ranchi, Feb 13 (PTI) For Asian Games bronze medallistswimmer Virdhawal Khade, the main motivation behindparticipating in the National Games is the prize money thatthe state offers to its medal winners.

With little competition for him, the Indian swimmingsensation is eyeing to make a clean sweep in all his nineindividual events, which will give him a prize purse of Rs 27lakh.

Khade is taking part in the three relay events also andhe said that would be a bonus for him.

Maharashtra government has promised to offer Rs 3 lakh,Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 lakh to the gold, silver and bronze winnersfrom the state.

"Honestly, money is really a motivation. We incur hugeexpenses, training overseas and in exposure meets elsewhere.

The money earned here will be a big help," the 19-year-oldtold PTI.

"Also, this being the first meet of this season, comingfrom a break (after the Asian Games), it gave me a chance totest myself. I''m really happy and surprised with my timings.

It will slowly get better," he said.

Khade has already bagged two individual gold medals andone bronze in the relay event today and hopes to win all thenine individual events he is taking part.

"Last time (in Guwahati Nationals 2007) I had six goldand one silver from seven events. This time I''m taking part innine individual and three relay events. I am confident to winall the individual competitions."

Khade has an important season lined up for him with theWorld Championships due this year, that will give him a chanceto earn London 2012 Olympics berth.

"It''s important to start with a positive note. We haveWorld Championships, World University Games and Asian AgeGroup Championships due this year. So it''s going to be a longand hectic season ahead," Khade said.

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