National desk: The Kerala Government has announced cash rewards for state athletes who achieved outstanding performances and won medals at the 19th Hangzhou Asian Games.
The state cabinet has decided to award Rs 25 lakh to the gold medal winners, Rs 19 lakh to the silver winners, and Rs 12.5 lakh to the bronze medal winners. In total, 10 athletes and players from Kerala earned 12 medals in the games, comprising four gold, six silver, and two bronze.
Muhammad Ajmal, Muhammad Anas (400m relay), P. R. Sreejesh (Hockey), and Minnumani (Cricket) are the gold medal winners. H. S. Pranoy, M. R. Arjun, Muhammad Afzal, Muhammad Ajmal, M. Sreesankar, and Ansi Sojan won silver, while Pranoy and Jinson Johnson won bronze. This marked the best-ever performance by athletes from Kerala in an international sporting event.
In addition to the winners, a total of 33 athletes from the state participated in the 19th Asian Games. The state government will organize a special ceremony to honour all the Asian Games participants, including winners and coaches, on October 19. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the event.
The success at the Asian Games has provided a significant boost to the sports sector in Kerala. The state government’s recently instituted sports policy, geared towards holistic sports development, aspires to cultivate a greater number of international champions in the years ahead, while also prioritizing sports education at the grassroots level.