Hemant cash award promise for Tokyo-bound: Rs 2cr for gold, Rs 1cr for silver, Rs 75 lakh for bronze
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Saturday announced a cash award of Rs 50 lakh for star archer Deepika Kumari who had grabbed a hat-trick of gold medals as India made an unprecedented clean sweep at the World Cup Stage 3 in Paris last month for a perfect build-up to the Tokyo Olympics in less than a month's time.
The chief minister also declared cash awards of Rs 2 crore for winning gold in Tokyo Olympics Games to be held from July 23 and August 8, Rs 1 crore for winning silver and Rs 75 lakh for bronze for the Jharkhand players.
For archers Ankita Bhakat and Komalika Bari, Hemant announced a cash reward of Rs 20 lakh each while for coach Purnima Mahto Rs 12 lakh.
For Nikki Pradhan and Salima Tete who have been selected in the Indian Hockey team for Olympics, Hemant announced Rs 5 lakh each.
"Chief Minister announced cash awards for our champions. Deepika - Rs 50 lakhs, Anikta and Komalika - Rs 20 lakh each, Salima and Nikki - Rs 5 lakh each & Coach Purnima Mahto Rs 12 lakhs.
"CM also announced cash rewards for winning Olympic medals - Gold- Rs 2 crore, silver - Rs one crore & Bronze- Rs 75 lakhs," Chief Minister's office said.
The CM also interacted with the players and Dronacharya awardee Punima Mahato virtually.
Star Indian archer Deepika Kumari last month had regained the number one position in global rankings following her hat- trick of gold medals at the World Cup Stage 3 here. The 27-year-old from Ranchi, who had achieved the top spot for the first time in 2012, had claimed gold medals in three recurve events -- women's individual, team and mixed pair.
"This is going to take Deepika to the number one spot in the world rankings on Monday," World Archery had tweeted on its official handle after Deepika's gold rush. Deepika first combined with Ankita Bhakat and Komalika Bari to notch up the women's recurve team gold with a comfortable win over Mexico.
Nikki Pradhan and Salima Tete, two Jharkhand girls, will be part of India's 16-member women's hockey squad for the Tokyo Olympics Games to be held from July 23 and August 8 and Jharkhand had termed it a "proud moment" for state.
Jharkhand is known for producing world-class women archers and female hockey players.
"Proud moment for us as our girls Nikki Pradhan and Salima Tete make it to the final 16. Best wishes to Team India and our girls from Jharkhand. May the team comes out in bright flying colours," chief minister Hemant had earlier tweeted.
Pradhan hails from Hesal village in tribal heartland Khunti, about 65 km from state capital, Ranchi.
Though she picked up hockey stick at a tender age, she fine tuned her skills at Bariatu Girls' Hockey Centre, Ranchi which has also produced former India hockey captain Asunta Lakra.
Indian Women's Hockey Team midfielder Pradhan, 27, earlier became the first hockey player from Jharkhand to participate in the Olympic Games when she played for India at the Rio Games.
While Nikki is a seasoned midfielder in the Indian squad, Indian women's hockey team's young midfielder Salima Tete having debuted for India in early 2017 against Belarus was touted to be the next big thing in Indian hockey.
Tete, 19, hails from a small hamlet in Simdega district, Jharkhand and has since proved her potential in the Indian team.