Bhubaneswar, 18/12/2017 ( Odisha Samachar / Abhisek Mohanty )- : The athletes of Odisha bagged as many as 13 medals in the recently concluded Special Olympics Bharat National Championship in Skating held from December 11 to 16, 2017 in Hyderabad, Telengana.
A team of eight athletes participated in the event from Odisha. Rajashree Mohapatra was the star with 2 Gold medals (1 each in 30 metre straight race and 30 metres slalom for women). Aditya Hembram bagged a Gold in 30 metre slalom and a Silver in 30 metre straight for men. Santosh Mallik and Rakesh Bisoi bagged a silver each in 30 metre slalom and 300 metre race respectively. Sarita Routray, Sangeeta Nayak and Sonali Pradhan bagged a Bronze medals in 30 mtr straight, 500 metre race, 100 metre race and 30 metre straight. Rakesh Bisoi also bagged a Bronze in 30 metre straight in mixed race. Sarita Routray and Sonali Pradhan combined to give Odisha another Bronze in the Relay Race.
This is the first time that Odisha has bagged so many medals in a sport which is new to the State. It is the hard work of their coach Ms. Geeta Panda and the technical support provided by the Decathlon team led by Mr. Tushar ably supported by Ms. Arpita Mohapatra. The joyous family members greeted the team at the Bhubaneswar Railway Station on their arrival by Prasanti Express.
The athletes who have secured 1st and 2nd positions have a good chance of being selected to represent India in the Special Olympics World Summer Games to be held in Abu Dhabi in 2019.