A comedy of errors!
The Indian Olympic Association IOA was left redfaced during Sundays felicitation ceremony to award cash prize to Asian Games medallists as the parent body got multiple names wrong on the cheques and even missed out on one
New Delhi: The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was left red-faced during Sunday's felicitation ceremony to award cash prize to Asian Games medallists as the parent body got multiple names wrong on the cheques and even missed out on one.
Around 15 medallists including compound archers Jyothi Surekha Vennam and Abhishek Verma were given just bouquets as their names were misprinted on cheques.
The IOA awarded Rs three lakh, Rs two lakh and Rs one lakh respectively to the gold, silver and bronze medal winners in the team events.
"I would like to apologise in advance for our mistake.
The names of around 14-15 players have been printed incorrectly so we will give them a bouquet. But don't worry, you will get your cash prizes. I didn't want to give cheques with misspelt names," President, IOA, Narinder Batra, said.
In another embarrassing moment, the organisers forgot to mention the name of bronze medal winning wrestler Divya Kakran.
It was only after Kakran's parents raised the issue with Batra after the ceremony had ended that the president called Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, who had almost left the venue, to announce the prize for Kakran.
"They are saying her name is not on the list but we had given her name. I dont know what is happening," Kakran's mother told PTI.
"There is always a first time. The players performed so well that we decided to award them with cash incentives.
We will continue to give these cash awards in future be it the Olympics, Commonwealth Games or the Asian Games," Secretary General, IOA, Rajeev Mehta told PTI.
"The funds for these incentives will be provided by our sponsors," he added. Several players were missing from the ceremony including gold medallists -- javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and tennis players Rohan Bopana and Divij Sharan, wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat along with badminton medallists PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal.
Indians athletes returned with 69 medals from the Jakarta and Asian Games-15 gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze.
Batra encouraged the medallist to aim for medals in the Olympics as well. He underscored the need to think in terms of double-digit podium finishes.