New Delhi: Eighteen Incheon Asian Games medal winners, including members of gold-winning Indian hockey, squash and women's relay teams, were today felicitated by their employers Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited for bringing laurels to the country in the multi-sporting event.
Among those who were felicitated with cash awards at a function here included M R Poovamma and Mandeep Kaur (both women's 4x400m relay), Kush Kumar (men's squash) and hockey player Gurwinder Singh Chandi.
Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu, the other member of the gold-winning squash team, and hockey player Akashdeep Singh could not turn up.
Athletes belonging to ONGC bagged 13 medals (4 gold, one silver and eight bronze) out of 57 India had won in Incheon. Overall, 40 athletes from ONGC took part in the Asian Games.
The gold winners Sandhu and Kush, relay runner Mandeep, kabaddi players Navneet Gautam, Praveen Kumar and Jasveer Singh, hockey players Akashdeep and Chandi were awarded Rs 2.5 lakh each. Poovamma, who also won a bronze in individual 400m race, besides the relay gold, got Rs 4.5 lakh.
Silver medal winner in the women's 20km race walk event Khushbir Kaur was handed a cheque of Rs 3 lakh, while double bronze winner tennis player Yuki Bhambri, who also could not turn up, was awarded Rs 3.5 lakh.
Shweta Chaudhary, bronze medallist in the individual 10m air pistol event, received Rs 2 lakh. Double trap team bronze medal winner Shagun Chaudhary and Varsha Varman, Heena Sidhu (25m air pistol), Jyothi Surekha Vennam were awarded Rs 1.33 lakh each, while team bronze medal winning shuttlers Ashwini Ponnappa and P C Thulasi got Rs 1 lakh each.
Twenty other ONGC sportspersons, who were a part of the Asian Games contingent, were given a cash incentive of Rs 50,000 each.
ONGC also felicitated world billiards and snooker
champion Pankaj Advani with a cheque of Rs 7.5 lakh for his recent performances, including winning of the world team billiards championships. Rupesh Shah, who partnered Advani in the win, was awarded Rs 2.5 lakh.
Alok Kumar, Dhruv Sitwala and Saurav Kothari (Rs 1.5 lakh each) were the other cueists who were awarded. World carrom champion Rashmi Kumari was also felicitated with a cheque of Rs 1.75 lakh for winning the World Cup recently.
Talking about India winning Asian Games gold in hockey after 16 years, Chandi said that the team changed tactics after losing to Pakistan in the group stage.
"We were over-attacking and that was why we conceded a late goal to lose to Pakistan in the group match. In the final, there was a change in tactics and the team management told us to make defence solid and then attack," he said.
"That paid off and we beat Pakistan in the final," he added.
He said the Asian Games victory should boost the team morale and the players must do well in Champions Trophy in Orissa in December.
"Our next big event is the Champions Trophy in December and Asian Games gold should boost us do well in that tournament and then in Rio Olympics."
The three kabaddi players, shooter Heena Sidhu and tennis player Yuki could not come to receive the awards personally.