Tripura basks in their tennis star Somdev’s glory at CWG (Lead)October 11th, 2010 - 9:25 pm ICT by IANS
By Sujit Chakraborty
Agartala, Oct 11 (IANS) Tripura celebrated Monday, a day after Somdev Devvarman’s gold scripted history at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Delhi. The tennis sensation, who belongs to the state’s erstwhile royal family, is being hailed as a shining star of the northeast and people here are waiting for him to come so that they can felicitate him in a fitting manner.
Firecrackers were burst, boxes of sweets passed around and congratulatory messages flooding the home of Somdev’s parents in Agartala, the state capital. Residents cheered the 25-year-old athlete’s achievement - he has become the first Indian to win a gold in men’s singles tennis at the Games, which made its debut in Delhi.
“We would felicitate both Somdev and gymnast Dipa Karmakar very soon,” Tripura Sports Council secretary Kamal Saha told IANS.
His father Pravanjan Devvarman, a retired income tax commissioner, said: “We are very proud of him. He put up a very good show. Not only Tripura, but the entire nation is proud of his success.”
“Somdev gave his career’s finest presentation in the contest and we expect him to play some good tennis in future too,” Pravanjan told IANS in Agartala just after talking to his son on the phone.
Somdev won the gold in tennis by outclassing Australia’s Greg Jones 6-4, 6-2 in the men’s singles competition Sunday. He left New Delhi Monday for Uzbekistan to take part in the Tashkent Open tennis tournament.
Somdev’s relatives termed his victory as “historic” for Indian tennis. “We are proud of him and we are certain he will do better in the coming days,” said Dayamay Debbarman, Somdev’s uncle.
The tennis star is expected to visit his home in Agartala soon and will be given a reception by Tripura government and the Tripura Tennis Association.
“Somdev’s success proves beyond doubt that there is no dearth of talent in the northeast and that all these bright youngsters need a platform or an opening to prove their capability and ability,” Tripura Sports Council secretary Kamal Saha said.
“With Somdev’s performance, now the world will know better about the northeast, where despite no scope for developing tennis, there are capable players,” he said.
Somdev is the grandson of Tripura’s late royal scion Bikramendra Kishore Debbarman, popularly known as Bidurkarta. The former princely state merged with India in 1949 and was initially a part of Assam and became a full-fledged state only in 1972.
Tripura Tennis Association secretary Sujit Roy said: “Somdev’s father Pravanjan, a recipient of ‘College Blue’ in 1967-68, excelled in table tennis and cricket during his student life.”
“We are really thrilled by Somdev’s performance and energy. This boy will earn much credit for India in future in the field of sports,” Roy said.
According to Roy, after Somdev’s series of success during the past few years, the Tennis Federation of India (TFI) decided to develop a tennis court in Agartala for him at a cost of Rs.200,000. The Tripura Tennis Association has requested the state government to provide land for the proposed tennis court.
(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at email@example.com)
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