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Asian Games 2018: Delhi athletes praise Kejriwal for hike in prize money

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Days after Asian Games bronze medal winner Divya Kakran slammed the Delhi government for their lack of support towards sportspersons, two other medallists welcomed the government’s decision to hike the prize money.

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At an interaction with the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Divya had lashed out at the state government saying that help only arrived after she had won a medal at the Commonwealth Games. But her calls for help went unanswered when needed.

“I won the medal in Commonwealth Games and you called me and assured me help…when I asked help to prepare for the Asian Games, it (the help) did not come. I gave in writing, but no one even answered my call,” Kakran was quoted as saying by PTI during a felicitation programme at the Delhi Secretariat on Tuesday.

Also Read: Received no help from Delhi Government- Asian Games medallist Divya Kakran blasts CM Kejriwal

But Pinky Balhara, who bagged a silver in the Kurash event of the recently concluded intercontinental event thanked Kejriwal for the “substantial increase” in the prize money.

“I would like to thank Arvind Kejriwal sir on behalf of all the athletes for a substantial increase in the cash award. It will definitely help all the athletes to focus on their game and not worry about the financial burden,” Pinky was quoted as saying by The Quint.

Kejriwal had on Tuesday announced a hike in the cash prize money after hearing Divya’s complaints of not getting any support during her preparation for the Asian Games.

The AAP party chief had said that the government has increased the cash rewards for all the 2018 Asian Games medalist from the state.

Cash rewards for gold medal winners have been increased from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 1 crore, while silver medallist will get Rs 75 lakh in place of Rs 14 lakh. The bronze medal winners will be awarded Rs 50 lakh in place of the afore-mentioned Rs 10 lakh.

Meanwhile, archery event silver medallist Abhishek Verma also praised the government for the increase in the cash prize saying it will help them prepare better.

“I want to say thanks to Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi government on the behalf of all the sportspersons for the hike in cash awards. They are less than some states but more than many states. It will help athletes in their preparations,” he said reports the website.

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