Lalita Babar

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.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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