The Tamil Nadu Athletics Association (TNAA), in association with Casagrand, on Friday felicitated athletes hailing from the State, who participated in the Tokyo Olympics and in the World under-20 championships in Nairobi recently, with cash awards.
Tokyo Olympians P. Naganathan (4x400m men’s relay), V. Revathi, V. Subha and S. Dhanalakshmi (all 4x400m mixed relay) were given Rs.1 lakh each. S. Barath, who was part of the bronzewinning 4x400m mixed relay team in Nairobi, was also given Rs. 1 lakh while other participants — M. Donald (triple jump), S. Nagarjunan (4x400m relay) were given Rs.50,000 each.
Arokia Rajiv, who was part of the 4x400m men’s relay and 4x400m mixed relay team at Tokyo, was unable to come. Coaches were honoured with ₹20,000 each.
Subha and Dhanalakshmi said they are expecting an appointment letter from Tamil Nadu Electricity Board as promised by the State Government.
Barath was the toast of the media. The 18-year-old Villupuram native said it will take three months for the ankle injury to heal.
“I will take part in the U-19 World next year in Cali, Colombia. But my main focus is the 2024 Paris Olympics,” he said.
C. Latha, TNAA secretary, said private coaches who have produced athletes like Barath and others but don’t have a NIS degree should be allowed inside stadiums supported by the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu.
W.I. Davaram, TNAA president, also spoke. V. Meyyanathan, minister of youth welfare and sports, was the chief guest.