Rajesh K. Madiwal and Ashwin Sanil, two firemen from Kumta, in Uttara Kannada, and Udupi, respectively, won bronze medals at the 13th World Firefighters Games, which was held in Chungju in South Korea between September 10 and 17. This was the maiden participation of firemen from the State in an international event.
Mr. Madiwal won bronze medals in the bench press and powerlifiting events. Mr. Sanil was the part of the bronze medal-winning 4×100 relay team from India. The two were felicitated by the director of Fire and Emergency Services H.S. Varadarajan at the regional fire office here on Wednesday.
Having excelled in the national sports meet for firemen in Nagpur, the duo had qualified for the World Firefighters Games. “The expenses were too high for us to meet. There were also a lot of mandatory clearances to participate in the event. Thanks to Mr. Varadarajan, we participated and brought laurels to our State and the region,” said an elated Mr. Sanil. Mr. Madiwal said the support of the department has inspired them to participate in more sporting events.
Mr. Varadarajan said it was the first time the department knew about the international sporting event for firemen. Among the several clearances that Mr. Madiwal and Mr. Sanil had to take was one from the Central Fire Advisor in New Delhi. “We will send more firemen from the State to national and international meets now,” he said. He also said that firemen were, for a long time, barred from taking part in State-level and national-level sports meets for government employees. In the past eight years, divisional and State-level sports events are being held exclusively for firemen, he said.
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