New Delhi : Top Indian athletes Joseph Abraham and Krishna Poonia expressed gratitude to the government for selecting them for the Arjuna award and said this would motivate them to do better for the country.
Discus thrower Poonia, who won gold in the Asian All Star Athletics Meet, said her efforts for eight years got recognition from the government. "I am very happy that I got the award. I thanked the government for the honour, it will motivate me in doing better," she said at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
"The effort in my eight year career has got recognition. I am looking forward to doing well in the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games later this year," said Poonia. Asked about her medal prospects in the Commonwealth Games, she said, "I know it will be tough but if I can do my best of 63.69m I think I have a chance to win a medal."
400m hurdler Abraham said he was expecting the award after his name had been recommended by the Athletics Federation of India. "I am extremely happy that I got the award. I was confident that I would win the award," he said.
Abraham, who won the race today with a timing of 50.87, said he thought he would run sub 50 seconds but he slowed down towards the home stretch. "The track was fast and I started very strongly but could not maintain the tempo till the end. I thought I would run sub 50 seconds but could not," he said.
Abraham, who held the national record in 400m hurdle with a timing of 49.51sec, said if he could run at his national mark or better, he has a chance to win a medal in the October 3-14 Commonwealth Games.