Mangaluru, Apr 20, 2018: Gururaj Poojary, who clinched a silver medal in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in the 56 kg category of weightlifting, was accorded a grand welcome when he landed at Bajpe airport on April 19, Thursday.
Udupi’s champion weightlifter was taken in a procession from the airport to the Udupi DC’s office, where Poojary was offered a grand reception by the district administration, led by Deputy Commissioner Priyanka Mary Francis.
Sharing his experience, the athlete said that he is immensely proud to secure a silver for his country. He, however, regretted over the little or no support from the government. He stressed that the government should come forward to offer all-round support to the budding talents.
Poojary said that he was mighty pleased with his silver medal winning feat at Gold Coast and added that he would like to better his showing at Jakarta Asiad in Aug 2018 and Tokyo Olympics in 2020
He said his immediate goal is to up his performance at Asiad and international competitions to earn a qualification of Tokyo Olympics.
A recipient of Ekalavya award for the year 2016, Poojary has, so far, won two gold medals, a silver (at CWG 2018) and two bronze medals in various international competitions.
A sporting icon from the state, Poojary has a message for the voters. He called upon the voters to exercise their franchise prudently, and without fear.
Udupi DC Priyanka Mary Francis said that Gururaj Poojary has done the district, state and country proud with his feat and urged him to be a role model for the youths, and inspire them to achieve excellence in the area of sports. She lauded his parents for their unconditional support they extended despite the financial constraints.