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SAI fetes Arjuna, Dhyan Chand awardees

Written by: Staff

Bangalore, Aug 25 (UNI) The Sports Authority of India here today honoured Arjuna awardees Shikha Tandon (Swimming), Aparna Popat (Badminton) and Gaurav Narang (Shooting) and Dhyan Chand Awardee Uday K Prabhu (Athletics).

Talking to UNI at a lunch hosted in their honour by SAI Southern Centre Director K Kishore here, nine-time National Champion Popat expressed happiness over winning the prestigious Award.

'' It is really a good feeling and gives boost to my future aims,'' she said.

Asked whether she had expected the award last year itself, she replied in the negative, saying that she had not applied for it then.

Popat, who was out of action over the last six months due to ill health, said she was fine now and preparing for the Asian Games.

''My next tournament is PSPB National tournament scheduled to be held in the mid-October in Hyderabad,'' she added.

Ace shooter Narang said the award was a good recognition for his efforts and added more responsibility. ''You don't really expect to win the Arjuna award and for me shooting, really started as hobby and then turned into my profession.'' For Olympian Tandon, the award had come one year late. ''I expected to get it last as I was the only Indian woman to win Senior Asian Championship. However, I am happy that I got it this year,'' she added.

''It is a wonderful gift in the silver jubilee year of my wedding anniversary,'' Prabhu said, adding ''I am happy that at least after 25 years of my retirement from the track, I have been recognised. I am satisfied.'' All these athletes would be receiving the award from President A P J Abdul Kalam in New Delhi on August 29.


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