Berhampur (Orissa): Sports lovers here were disappointed as Commonwealth Games gold medallist K Ravi Kumar skipped this year`s Senior National Weightlifting Championship, which started here on Saturday, due to health reasons.
Organisers said the Arjuna awardee weightlifter could not participate in the five-day event held at his home town as he was undergoing treatment.
"He could not participate in the event due to some health problems," one of the organisers said.
Though he was absent in the national event, several heavyweights, including the president of Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) praised him for his performance. "We hope he will recover very soon and qualify for the Olympic Games to be held in London next year," IWF president Birendra Prasad Baishya, an MP from Assam, said.
About 250 participants including national and international awardees from across the country are taking part in the event, IWF vice-president Narayan Sahu said.
Besides, many officials and coaches have also joined the event being held here for the first time, he said.
"Weightlifters from Orissa have contributed a lot to the IWF by bagging awards. In this contest, it is significant to organise the national championship here," the IWF president said.