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Posted at: Oct 12, 2018, 2:10 AM; last updated: Oct 12, 2018, 2:10 AM (IST)

Powerlifters Ramandeep, Ajay left out on award list

Won medals in international championships; feel dejected due to state government

Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, October 11

Two powerlifters from Doaba, who have won medals in international championships, are upset over not having considered their case by the state government in the today’s felicitation ceremony held for state players.

Polio-hit Ramandeep Kaur (29), who hails from Ghorewahi village, near Bhogpur, had won two gold medals in the Commonwealth Powerlifting and Benchpress Championship, South Africa, in September 2017.

Ramandeep, who contests in the 82-kg category, does not even have a coach to help her in practice.

Ajay Gogna of Bholath had won a bronze medal at the Asian Benchpress Championship held in Dubai from September 19 to 24. He had bagged the medal in the Under 120+ weight category and the championship was organised by the UAE Powerlifting Federation. Ajay is a five-time national champion in powerlifting. He has won many district and state-level competitions.

Both players today rued that with no recognition from the government despite repeated representations, bringing medals for the country seemed to be a useless exercise.

“Each time that I have approached Punjab Ministers Rana Gurmeet Sodhi and Navjot Sidhu to show them my medals, they kept telling me that a new sports policy was on the cards and my achievements would be honoured. I kept waiting for an invite for today but it sadly did not come,” says Ramandeep.

Despite her handicap, Ramandeep has been contesting in regular championships (not for para powerlifters) and winning medals.

“Today, I think it was a sheer wasteful exercise to have come so long practicing the game. I have had to pledge all my gold to arrange for money for international events. I had hoped that my medals would bring me recognition, riches and a government job too. But I feel stupid having expected so much for myself. All my hopes have dashed today and I am feeling badly dejected,” said Ramandeep, who has won a gold again in the state championship held in Phagwara on September 15 and is gearing up for this year’s nationals in Mumbai from November 8-9.

Gogna too expressed disillusionment over his rejection on today’s award list. “I was waiting to be included on the list but nothing came my way,” he said.

Amrit Kaur Gill, Director, Sports, Punjab, said: “The award list for the day only included winners of the Commonwealth Games in Australia and Asian Games in Jakarta. We did not include winners of championships. We already had advertised about the same. The players could have contacted us for clarification rather than going to the media now.”

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