Mumbai, Aug 22 (IANS) Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday felicitated steeplechase athlete from the state Lalita Shivaji Babar, who became the first Indian sprinter in 32 years to reach a track event final at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Lauding her achievements, Fadnavis offered all support and cooperation to Babar and even announced that the 27-year-old athlete from Satara would be given a government job.
“I am very elated that after P.T. Usha, an Indian athlete from Maharashtra could reach the Olympic finals. Now my sights are set on bagging a medal in 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” Babar said in her reply.
She said though she lost the opportunity to bag a medal at the Rio Olympics, she returned with a rich experience and exposure that would hold good for years to come.
A group of Maharashtrian ‘tamasha’ (folk dance) artistes from Satara announced a reward of Rs 100,000 to Babar for her achievement in reaching the Olympics finals.
Earlier, the Haryana government announced a Rs 15 lakh award to Babar for her unique feat.
The daughter of a farmer in a small village Mohi in Satara district, she had bagged a silver medal at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games in South Korea and finished 10th in the just-concluded Rio 2016 Olympics.