COONOOR: Tuesday was a red-letter day in the annals of the Madras Regimental Centre (MRC), Wellington, as its Naib Subedar Arokia Rajiv was honoured by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind in New Delhi with the prestigious Arjuna Award for his outstanding contribution in Athletes.
“This award to serving army personnel is a matter of great pride for the entire Indian Army, his unit and family,” a release from the MRC said.
Naib Subedar Arokia Rajiv becomes the second Arjuna Awardee from the Madras Regiment after Havildar Peter Thangaraj who had received the Award for his outstanding achievements as India’s football goalkeeper.
Enrolled into the regiment on March 15, 2011, Arokia Rajiv hails from Tiruchirappalli district. The MRC had periodically rewarded him with ‘out-of-turn’ promotion for his sporting achievements. His first major achievement was winning gold at Open National Athletic Championship in 400 metres race.
Thereafter, he had won many titles in National and Inter-services Athletic championship.
On the international sporting arena, he had bagged Bronze at 17th Asian Games in Incheon, Korea in 400 metres and Silver in 6th World Military Games in South Korea in the same event.
His road to success began from Chennai after he won the gold medal at Open National Athletics Championship here on September 10, 2012 in 400 metres run. The highest point of his sporting career came when he qualified for Rio Olympics in 4 x 400 meters relay at the Indian Grand Prix held at Bangalore by securing gold medal.
CM greets awardees
Chief Minister Edappadi on Tuesday greeted the three Arjuna award winners Mariappan Thangavelu (para athletics), A Amalraj (table tennis) and Arokia Rajiv (athletics) - who have received honours from President Ram Nath Kovind at a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan at Delhi.
The chief minister, in separate letters to the sportspersons, hailed their achievements and wished them many more laurels in the future.
Mariappan won the gold medal in the men’s high jump (T-42 category) at the Rio Paralympics in 2016 while A Amalraj won medals in Commonwealth games in 2014 and national sports events in 2015. Arokia Rajiv won medals in many sports events in 2014 and 2017.