Padma Shri a respect for athletics: Poonia
Commonwealth Games gold medallist discuss thrower Krishna Poonia was taken by surprise on Tuesday when she was flooded with congratulatory calls on being accorded with Padma Shri.
The Rajasthan athlete was clueless about being nominated for the award and was understandably delighted when it was announced.
Poonia was among the seven athletes who were named for the Padma Shri.
The 28-year old mother of an eight-year-old son won India's first athletics gold medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games after 52 years.
She was also the first Indian female athlete to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal.
"I was not even aware that I was nominated for the award. It was only when media started calling and when friends came home with sweets that I realised I have been named for the award. The award means a lot for athletics in India and will motivate athletes. It is a respect for the sport," Poonia told IANS.
"We are all very happy. There are celebrations at my home. It is a special day in my life."
Poonia, who has been nursing a knee injury after the Commonwealth Games, said she is working hard to return to fitness and is determined to get a gold for India in 2012 London Olympics.
"My knee is a lot better. The doctors have given me a go ahead to exercise in the gym. I am working hard to get fit. My aim is to win gold in London and I want to give everything to achieve it," she said.