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No medal, but still a cash boost

New Delhi: In a surprise move, the ministry of sports has decided to distribute cash awards of Rs 10 lakh each to a dozen non-medallists of the London Olympics in a function to be held next week.

The awards would be given to those who finished between fourth and 12th positions in their respective events.

Never before the government had given cash awards to athletes who failed to win medals in international meets. However, considering the fact that several Indian athletes performed creditably in the 2012 Olympics, the ministry decided to make an exception.

Topping the list of awardees is Bengal rifle shooter Joydeep Karmakar, who finished fourth in the prone event. “I missed the medal by a whisker, but it’s a huge honour for me,” said Karmakar.

Others to get the awards are: Vikas Gowda, Krishna Poonia, Tinku Luka and KT Irfan (all athletics), P. Kashyap (badminton); Vijender Singh and L. Devendro Singh (both boxing); Ronjan Sodhi and Heena Sidhu (both shooting), Sonia Chanu (weightlifting) and Amit Kumar (wrestling).