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A special team

Jamshedpur, Dec. 14: As many as 13 special athletes from various districts have made it to the state team for the National Games (for all disabilities) at Ajmer, Rajashtan.

This is the first time that Jharkhand will not be represented by an all-Jamshedpur outfit in the games to be held between December 15 and 20.

The 18-member squad announced by Special Olympics Jharkhand has athletes from Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Ramgarh, Lohardaga and Seraikela-Kharsawan, apart from Jamshedpur. There are four athletes each from Hazaribagh and Ranchi, two from Ramgarh, and one each from Lohardaga, Seraikela-Kharsawan and Giridih. Nevertheless, Jamshedpur, with five players, has maximum representation.

Special Olympics official J. Behera, also a qualified master trainer, has been appointed as the head of the delegation that left for Ajmer last evening. Ram Prakash, Thomas Paswan and Mala Jha are accompanying the team as coaches, while Roshni Barla has gone as an escort.

The Special Olympics Bharat, on the other hand, has nominated Jamshedpur-based O.S. Ashok Kumar, a qualified football coach, as a technical official for the games.

“We spread our wings and conducted activities in districts regularly. Thus, this time, we have good representation from outside Jamshedpur as well,” said Special Olympics Jharkhand assistant area director Satbir Singh Sahota.

He added the the coaches had worked very hard to prepare the team and they were keeping their fingers crossed for a good show in Ajmer.

Jharkhand athletes had bagged six gold, 11 silver and as many bronze medals at the inaugural National Games (for all disabilities) in Chennai in 2012. The second edition was held in Bhopal in January.