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Sunday, Sep 15, 2019

Hockey World League Final: World Cup countdown clock unveiled

Ahead of Hockey World League Final in Orissa, the state’s chief minister Naveen Patnaik launched the World Cup countdown clock. The World Cup will be played in Bhubaneswar

other-sports Updated: Nov 29, 2017 23:19 IST
Sharad Deep
Sharad Deep
Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik during the unveiling of the Hockey World Cup
Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik during the unveiling of the Hockey World Cup (HT Photo)

It was a day to cherish for wheelchair-bound fencing champion Malati Panaure. Not only did she get Rs 50,000 for her gold medal-winning feat during the National Wheelchair Fencing Championship at Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh this year, she was also the ‘celebrity’ of the day, sharing the dais with Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday.

READ | Home support drives Indian hockey team’s Odisha trio ahead

The occasion was the unveiling of the ‘365 days clock’ for the Hockey World Cup, which will be held in Bhubaneswar, and Panaure was ecstatic seeing the Indian hockey team there. In her enthusiasm, she climbed the dais without support. She shook hands with Patnaik and the India team, before taking her designated place.

“It’s really a proud moment for all of us. I’ve never been honoured like this for my achievement before. “When I lost my right leg in an accident in childhood, I thought it was the end. I started making efforts and today everyone here knows about me,” said Panaure, who was among 59 sportspersons, who received a total cash reward of R76.75 lakh for their showing at the state, national and international level in recent years.

READ | Hockey World Leage Final: Indian team plays cricket to forge bonding

On the occasion, the hockey World Cup mascot ‘Olly’ --- an Olive Ridley sea turtle --- was unveiled. Beaches in Odisha are a prime nesting sites for these endangered turtles.

Patnaik said the conduct of such big events will help the state emerge as a force to reckon with in sports.

READ | Narinder Batra’s bid for Indian Olympic Association president post gets a boost

Odisha hockey players like Dipsen Tirkey, Amit Rohi Das, Deepgrace Ekka, Lilima Minz, Namita Topo, Sunita Lakra, Rashmita Minz, who won gold in the men’s and women’s Asia Cup recently, were given Rs 7.5 lakh each.

No wonder, the loudest cheers came from the Indian hockey team.

First Published: Nov 29, 2017 23:19 IST