Railways to set up TT, archery academy in Bengal

Kolkata : To help the Indian athletes prepare for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Railways would set up archery and table tennis academy in West Bengal, Rail Minister
Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday .

"Our athletes have been the most outstanding. Thirty per cent of the CWG medallists belong to the Railways. I am sure we will definitely win a gold in the Olympics," Banerjee said.

Addressing a Kolkata Municipal Corporation felicitation programme for the CWG medallists, who were given a total prize money of Rs 55 lakh, she said that 10 Olympic disciplines with medal prospects had been identified and all facilities will be provided to the athletes.

"We have already chosen archery, athletics, boxing, gymnastics, shooting and wrestling and will soon add four more disciplines to our programme. We will provide the athletes
with all facilities, infrastructure and training," she said.

Two table tennis academies would be set up here and at Siliguri as also an archery academy here, she said.

Banerjee said the Railways would offer jobs to archer Rahul Banerjee and swimmer Prasanta Karmakar.

The KMC awarded Games medallists from the state Rs 5 lakh for a gold medal, Rs 4 lakh for silver and Rs 3 lakh for bronze. It also conferred them with the `Kolkata-Shree` award.

KMC also gave Rs 2 lakh each to long distance swimmers Prabir Sarkar, Amrita Das, Rashmi Sharma and Richa Sharma.

The state boasts of 11 successful Games athletes of whom archers Dola Banerjee and Rahul Banerjee and paddler Subhajit Saha have each won gold and bronze medals at the Delhi Games.

The trio thus received Rs 8 lakh each.

Poulomi Ghatak, who won a silver and bronze in table tennis, received Rs 7 lakh, while silver medallists Mouma Das (table tennis), Bharat Chhetri (hockey) and Sukhen Dey
(weightlifting) received Rs 4 lakh each.

Games bronze medallists -- Leander Paes (tennis), Rahamatulla Molla (athletics), Soumyadip Roy (table tennis) and Prasanta Karmakar (para-swimming) -- were given Rs 3 lakh each.


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