TTFI distributes cash rewards to CWG medal winners
Manika Batra star performer who stood out with two gold in Commonwealth Games medalNew Delhi(Sports Desk News4city)- The Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) distributed Rs 35 lakh as cash rewards to all its Commonwealth Games medal winners, the two coaches and the support staff at a glittering felicitation function held at Le Meridien on Sunday evening.
Manika Batra, the star performer who stood out with two gold, one silver and one bronze medals, was the biggest beneficiary when she received a total of Rs. 7.5 lakh for her individual gold in women singles, team gold, doubles silver and mixed bronze that she won at the Gold Coast Games to top the Indian chart of medal winners.
The chief guest at the function, Rahul Bhatnagar, Secretary Sports, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, handed over the cheques to Manika, along with other dignitaries who did the honours to other Team India members of table tennis.
As players received their cheques, the huge backdrop video wall ran all clips of the proud moments with players in great celebratory mood in Gold Coast, refreshing the memories of the huge gathering that attended the function.
The dignitaries included TTFI President Dushyant Chautala, Working President Dr Prem Verma, Secretary General M.P. Singh, Treasurer Arun Kumar Banerjee, Vice-president Haresh Sangtani, Advisor Dhanraj Choudhary, IOA President Narender Druv Batra, Dr Lalit Bhanot, Naveen Jindal, Mrs Vita Dani, Rakesh Kohli, among others.
Dushyant Chautala, in his welcome address to the gathering which included people from various walks of life and the media, said he was a to witness the proud and rare moments in Indian table tennis because it was the best ever haul of medals by our paddlers.
“We had gone to Gold Coast looking for a few exceptional performances but what we got was medals in all eight categories that we participated. And to boot this, we returned with three gold medals, including two team golds and one singles gold. I couldn’t have asked for more,” he said.
Speaking on, TTFI chief said the rare feat by the paddlers will be cherished for a long time to come. “But the players, who deserved all the accolades, also need to be encouraged with cash rewards. That’s why we are here and I believe the rewards will motivate them to perform well in the forthcoming Asian Games at Jakarta.”
Chief guest and Secretary Sports Bhatnagar, who spoke after the cash rewards were presented, said that he was happy to be a part of the felicitation and raved about what the players and TTFI have done to deserve attention from all concerned, including the Sports Ministry.
“This is the best that can happen to Indian sports, TTFI has shown the way for all of us to follow. What the Indian paddlers have achieved is all because of a sustained and concerted effort by the federation, the coaches and the support system the ministry and SAi have been able to provide. I congratulate the players, who won medals in all categories, the coaches, the support staff and, above all, TTFI for a wonderful job,” he said.
He also wished all the players well for the Asian Games and said with rising expectations from paddlers, he hoped India will put up a grand show in all major Games, including winning medals at the 2024 Olympics. “Why I am saying this is because, table tennis is heading in the right direction. I want its players to work hard for medals from the 2024 Games. It’s in the realm of possibility.”
Indian Olympic Association chief Narendra Batra said he was hoping for some medals from the table tennis squad in Jakarta Asiad. “After you did so well, expectations have risen. We expect at least a couple medals in the Asian Games from you,” he told the players, as he praised them for their achievements in Gold Coast.
He reserved his special praise for foreign expert Massimo Costantini. “I have heard about you, but meeting you for the first time. “With your guidance, I am hopeful you can bring the best out of the paddlers at Jakarta,” Batra reassured him.
The other dignitaries included Anil Khanna, president of Asian Tennis Association, Onkar Singh, secretary general of CFI and B.K. Sinha, former Secretary of SAI and who is DG, Police Haryana.