People pray for Ravi Kumar

Berhampur: Installation of life size hoardings, creation of wax images and holding of rally were among the events in this south Odisha town today as people prayed for the success of weightlifter K Ravi Kumar, who is participating in the London Olympics. Commonwealth Games Gold medalist Ravi Kumar of Berhampur is participating in the London Olympic in 69 kg men`s category in weightlifting.

Sports lovers in his home town went round a rally wishing his success in the Olympic Games. Former weightlifters, members of Veer Hanuman Club and his well wishers took out a rally. Organised by Veer Hanuman Club, the rally was flagged off by revenue divisional commissioner (RDC), southern division L N Nayak.

"The rally was organised on the opening day of the Olympic Games to wish the success of Ravi Kumar," said club members. Ravi is a member of the club. "We are proud as Ravi is participating in London Olympic. In order to boost his moral, we held rally at his home town," said general secretary of the club Narayan Sahu.?

Twenty-four-year old Ravi, a Arjuna award winner, is working in the Army. He had started his carrier as a weightlifter in the club, before he was selected to join in the SAI hostel in 2005. ?We hope he will do well in the Olympic Games and bring proud to the country," said one of his former coaches here.

Sahu, also vice president of Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and general secretary of Odisha Weightlifting Association (OWA) said, "We have high hope on him as he has done hard practice in the national camp at Patiala after he was selected for the Olympic in Asian Championship held in South Korea in May," Sahu said.

During practice he had lifted around 330 kg. He won the gold medal in CWC, New Delhi with lifting 321 kg. We are expecting he will improve his previous show, Sahu added. The club was also installed at least six big hoardings of Ravi Kumar at strategic locations of the town wishing his success. An artist from Berhampur has been erected a wax sculpture of weightlifter K.Ravi Kumar with the logo of London Olympics 2012.

P. Vindod Kumar, a former drawing teacher, has created the max miniature of around nine inch height to wish Ravi for his success in the mega event. "It took around a week to make the sculpture and aimed to finish it just before the start of the Olympic Games," he said.