Karmakar happy about Arjuna nomination

Kolkata: Bengal shooter Joydeep Karmakar, who missed an Olympic bronze narrowly in London, is extremely proud after his name was nominated for the Arjuna award.

Karmakar is reportedly among 25 sportsperson who have been nominated for the Arjuna Award, while shooter Vijay Kumar and wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt were today jointly recommended for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna.

"It came as a surprise to me (today). I knew the federation (NRAI) had recommended my name but was not sure that I would get to know about this today. I`m really happy that the government has recognised my contribution," Karmakar said here today.

"It is not only a great thing for shooting but also for entire sports as it will inspire the budding athletes to bring laurels to their country," he said.

NRAI vice-president V K Dhall felicitating him promised to forward a request to reward the marksman with Rs 10 lakh for his impressive show at the London Olympics.

Karmakar was also felicitated by the North Calcutta Rifle Club while PC Chandra Group awarded him a 22-carat gold medal.

State Sports Minister Madan Mitra said a piece of land for a proposed shooting range was being sought. "We are ready to do anything for the growth of shooting. Presently, we don`t have any land in proper Kolkata. So we are looking for a land in Barasat or Diamond Harbour area."

Karmakar came up with a spirited effort in London when he withstood the pressure qualifying for the final through a shoot-off and perform brilliantly in the 50m rifle prone final to finish fourth.