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Deaflympics 2017: Indian medallists protest against government's apathy, refuse to leave Delhi airport

New Delhi: Hearing-impaired athletes, who represented India at the 23rd Summer Deaflympics in Samsun, Turkey, refused to leave Delhi airport on Tuesday protesting against the lack of acknowledgement or appreciation of their success at the tournament.

The contingent, comprising 46 athletes and their support staff, were visibly angry with the government for not recognising their best ever performance which included a gold, a silver and three bronze medals.

Freestyle wrestling winners Virender Singh (74kg, Gold), Ajay Kumar (65kg, Bronze) and Sumit Dahiya (97kg, Bronze). Image Courtesy: Twitter/@Media_SAI

Freestyle wrestling winners Virender Singh (74kg, Gold), Ajay Kumar (65kg, Bronze) and Sumit Dahiya (97kg, Bronze). Image Courtesy: Twitter/@Media_SAI

"We celebrate the success of the Olympics players and even Paralympics athletes then why can't we give the same recognition to these players. This is our best ever show in Deaflympics including a gold medal which is the best ever performance by India," Ketan Shah, project officer and interpreter at All India Sports Council for the Deaf (AISCD), told NDTV in an interview.

When the players wanted to speak to sports minister Vijay Goel, NDTV reported that he refused to even acknowledge them.

Shah remarked that they had emailed the Director General of the Sports Authority and the sports ministry on 25 July about their arrival on 1 August but they failed to get a response out of them. He added that the proud Deaflympics contingent felt "let down."

Wrestler Virender Singh won the sole gold medal for India in the 74kg freestyle event while 16-year-old golfer Diksha Dagar won a silver medal. Ajay Kumar and Sumit Dahiya clinched bronze medals in 65kg and 97kg freestyle wrestling events respectively. 18-year-old Jafreen Sheikh secured the third bronze medal for India in the men's doubles tennis event.


Updated Date: Aug 01, 2017 13:44 PM

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