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‘Given infrastructure like cricket, our Olympic athletes can do well’

Asanna Gonmei |

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Friday backed the just-returned Indian Olympic athletes saying if given the right infrastructure like in cricket, they can come out with flying colours.

"We have done well in cricket because the BCCI has been able to give us great facilities. We have world-class stadiums all over India, even in a small centre like Ranchi. One running event won’t produce a champion overnight. You give the athletes infrastructure, I am sure they will become world beaters in 10 years’ time," the southpaw, who was unveiled as the face of the third Kolkata 25K run to be held on December 18, told reporters.

The event will be held in five categories for 25 km (elite and amateurs), Open 10K, Ananda Run (6K), Senior Citizen’s and Champions with disability over 4K. The run is slated to take place in the city on December 18.

Apart from Ganguly, ace archer Deepika Kumari, athlete Debashree Majumdar and shooter Joydeep Karmakar were present.

"I’ve never been exposed to such a stage. I feel great. I have won Asian Athletics Championship gold and been part of the Commonwealth Games. But no one knows me," lamented Majumdar when all sportspersons were called on the dais for a photo opportunity.

The 25-year-old was a stand-by along with Ashwini Akkunji in India’s Rio Olympics 4×400 women’s relay squad comprising Tintu Luka, Nirmala Sheoran, M.R. Poovamma, and Anilda Thomas.

"It was a pleasure meeting her," Ganguly said in reply to Majumdar’s comment.

"We don’t get to meet such champions all the time. I wish her all the best. You don’t get a chance to be in the sport for long so make the best of it."