Karnataka to bear training expense of Olympics-bound athletes

Bangalore: Karnataka government on Wednesday honoured top international sportspersons from the state with cash incentives and said it is ready to foot the training expense bills of those, who would qualify for the London Olympics in 2012.

The announcement was made by chief minister B S Yeddyurappa at a function where the sportspersons, who won medals at the recent Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Commonwealth Youth Games were felicitated.

Gold, silver and bronze medal winners at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games from the state walked away with Rs 10 lakh, Rs seven lakh and Rs five lakh, respectively.

A cheque of Rs 2.5 lakh, Rs 1.75 lakh and Rs 75,000 were handed out to the gold, silver and bronze winners, respectively, at the Commonwealth Youth Games.

Pankaj Advani, Ashwini Akkunji, Ashwini Ponnappa, Bharat Chetri and Arjun Halappa were among the list of 26 sportspersons on the felicitation list.

Mahesh Bhupathi and Vikas Gowda were among the absentees at the ceremony, attended among others by Sports Minister G Janardhana Reddy, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister S Suresh Kumar and Minister for Energy Shobha Karandlaje.

Yeddyurappa expressed hope that the cash incentives and felicitation would inspire them to scale new heights in the coming sports events.

He said the budget allocation for Youth Affairs and Sports department would be enhanced.