Tuesday, October 10, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Malleswari accuses coach of ill-treatment
Sandhu created problems on her selection
From Ashwani Dutta

YAMUNANAGAR, Oct 9 — Karnam Malleswari, the lone medal winner for India in the Sydney Olympic Games, has blamed the previous Haryana Government for ignoring her talent. Talking to The Tribune at her rented house here last evening she said if the previous Haryana Government had provided the proper infrastructure, their would have been many medals for Haryana sportsmen/sportswomen.

After winning the World championship twice she had come to Yamunanagar during the previous regime, but on those occasions neither the state government nor the district administration cared for her.

The bronze medal winner thanked Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala for ringing her up at Sydney and congratulating her after her medal win. She also appreciated the initiative taken up by Mr Chautala in announcing a prize money for sportspersons. She said Abhay Chautala, younger son of Om Prakash Chautala, who was in Sydney, specially called on her and congratulated her on winning the medal. She said the Haryana Government’s decision to provide a house and land to establish an academy was a positive step.

Where will she open the academy? To this query she said, "Either in Yamunanagar or in Chandigarh”. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had asked her to set up an academy at Hyderabad. She also thanked Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

Union Sports Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and senior officials of the Food Corporation of India (FCI), where she is employed, they had called her up in Sydney to congratulate her. She gave credit of her medal winning performance to the people of India, her husband Rajesh Tyagi and her parents, who had inspired her.

Malleswari’s father K. Manohar is in the Railway Police in Andhra Pradesh and her mother K. Shyamla is a housewife. Malleswari, who was born on June 1, 1975, has four sisters and a brother. A polyglot, she has a good command over Hindi, English, Telugu, Bengali and Punjabi.

She learnt the sport of weightlifting at the age of 13 from her elder sister who by that time had already participated in national and international meets. Malleswari is not completely satisfied with her performance. She missed the gold medal by 2.5 kg. She says she was mentally tortured before going to Sydney because of the step-motherly treatment meted out to her by her coach Pal Singh Sandhu. She charged Sandhu for creating problems on her selection for Sydney. She also gave credit of her success to coach Leonid Taranenko, the Russian Olympic weightlifting champion whose record has not been broken as yet. She said it was only due to Taranenko’s efforts that she was able to win a medal.

Malleswari, wearing an orange-coloured suit, remembered the big day, September 19, when she won the medal for her country. After winning, the first thing she did was to talk to her husband Rajesh and after that her parents in Andhra Pradesh.

When asked if she would be there for the next Olympic in Athens she said she was mentally prepared for it and hoped to win the gold medal there. After winning a lot of prize money, she now wants to spend her time and money in charitable work. She also appealed to the politicians not to mix sports with politics.

She said in near future she would take up the issue of setting up an academy with proper infrastructure with the Chief Minister of Haryana, adding that she was hopeful that the Haryana Government would spend more money on sports and sportspersons.

On October 7 Malleswari was presented a cheque of Rs 5 lakh and provided free air travel along with her husband all over India by Sahara India Airlines. On October 13 she will travel to Srikakulam (Andhra Pradesh), her native place to meet her family.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |