Sharmili Mallick

Rayagada: Divyang karateka L. Ramesh Kumar of Rayagada bagged gold medal in the 4th International Karate Championship 2018 organised by the All India Seishinkai Shito Ryu Karate Do Federation held at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata from July 28 to 29.

Ramesh was accorded a grand welcome by different sports organisations and citizen forums on his arrival at the Rayagada railway station on Tuesday.

Later, hundreds of youths including sports personalities and his well-wishers under the aegis of Karate Association of India organised a bike rally to celebrate the victory.

“I am proud to have earned a medal for the country despite my disability. After competing with Japan and Afghanistan, the final round was with Bangladesh,” said an overwhelmed Ramesh.

“This is the first gold medal from a resident of Rayagada and I feel delighted to have brought it for my district. Above all, the encouragement that I received here is beyond words,” he added.

At least seven countries participated in the event and Ramesh clichéd the goal against Bangladesh in the finale.