Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today felicitated all the Indian medal winners from the just-concluded Asian Athletics Championships, where the country registered its best ever medal haul. While Rs 10 lakh each was awarded to gold medallists, Rs 7.5 lakh was given to each silver medal winner and Rs 5 lakh to each bronze-medallist. Patnaik handed over the cash prize to 29 winners — 12 gold, five silver and 12 bronze winners — at a special function held here, a day after the end of the events at Kalinga Stadium here. Felicitating the medal winners of the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship 2017 here with flower bouquets, he said, “my heartiest congratulations to all the medal winners, the entire Indian contingent, the Athletics’ Federation of India and everyone associated with athletics in the country on this proud achievement.”
“I am delighted to be felicitated by the chief minister. The cash prize received today shall help me in many ways. I’ll never forget Kalinga Stadium which gave me a gold medal,” said javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who won a gold medal. Equally happy was G Lakshsmanan, who won two gold medals in 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters race. “The prize amount is very good. The crowd at Kalinga Stadium is superb. I’ll never forget their contribution in cheering the Indian Team members,” Laxman said.