Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu on Thursday felicitated athlete Joti Mane, who recently became the first from Arunachal Pradesh to win a gold medal in national athletics championship.
Khandu congratulated Mane for her stupendous feat and affirmed that the entire state was proud of her. He encouraged her to keep practising and bring more laurels for herself and the state.
“Set your goals high and work from the ground. Every citizen of Arunachal Pradesh is behind you,” he said.
The athlete won the 5,000-metre race in the girls’ U-20 category in the 31st East Zone Junior Athletics Championship, held in the capital city of Jharkhand, Ranchi, on September 14-15.
When informed that she clocked 19.45 minutes to win the gold, Khandu lauded the in-born talent in her and reiterated that raw talents are abundant in youths, particularly of the remote districts of the state. Mane hails from remote Monigong in the newly created district of Shi-Yomi.
The young athlete admitted that there are many talented athletes in her village, who, now after witnessing her success, are eager to take to track provided basic facilities are made available.
Expressing gratitude to the chief minister, Mane attributed her success to her coach, M K Pegu, because of whom she is availing of the training facilities at the Sangey Lhaden Sports Academy in Itanagar while pursuing her BA degree (1st semester) at Dera Natung Government College, Itanagar.
Pegu informed that Mane was spotted by a talent-hunting organisation when she was studying at Aalo but couldn’t attend the final selection camp at Guwahati due to her Class XII examinations.
“After her exams, I pursued with the DNGC authorities and got her admitted under sports quota so that she could train at the sports academy,” Pegu said.
When asked about the training facilities at the academy, Mane said that facilities are in place but not up to the highest level. She also thanked chief minister for felicitating her and said that the meeting was a dream come true for her.
Mane promised the CM that she will give her best in the ensuing 35th National Junior Athletics Championship, 2019, scheduled from November 1, 2 in Andhra Pradesh.