The sporting feat of a budding visually challenged chess sensation has gone completely unnoticed and unrewarded at a time when stellar performances of Odia athletes in the just-concluded Asian Games in Indonesia were widely acclaimed both by the State government and the private sector. Twenty-year-old Soundarya Kumar Pradhan won a silver medal at the 10th IBCA World Individual Junior Chess Championship for the Blind and Visually Impaired held in Poland in the third week of August. His feat assumes even greater significance considering the financial and infrastructure obstacles he faced in his journey from Boden in Odisha’s Nuapada district – one of the poorest and most backward regions of the country. “For a visually challenged, it was never easy to travel to Poland and compete with the best in the game. It hurts when nobody comes forward and pats your back when you bring laurels for the country against all odds,” rued Mr. Soundarya. He was a born with Leber congenital amaurosis, a disease genetically passed through families. It, however, did not deter him from dreaming. Initiated into chess at the age of four, Mr. Soundarya has been performing consistently in the game. He emerged as the champion at the national level on a couple of occasions and also won the bronze at the Asia Pacific Chess Championship for the Blind and Visually Impaired held in Karnataka in 2017 before clinching the silver last month.When Mr. Soundarya was finally felicitated by Lex Publicio, a Bhubaneswar-based law firm, here on Monday, he said it would be difficult to move ahead without support. Recently, Odia sprinter Dutee Chand was awarded ₹ 3 crore for her double silver in the Asian Games, while four members of the Indian women hockey team were given ₹1 crore each for coming second.
What ‘missteps’? Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games View comments In the second game, Cignal HD beat AMA Online Education, 86-76, with Davon Potts dropping 17 points and three rebounds in his best game yet for the Hawkeyes.Pamboy Raymundo added 16 points and two assists, while Raymar Jose had a near double-double with 12 points and nine boards to help the Hawkeyes climb to 3-2.Potts dropped eight points in the period to put his squad up early, 22-16. —CARLO ANOLIN, KRISTOFER PURNELLADVERTISEMENT Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire LATEST STORIES Gab Banal. PBA IMAGESGab Banal’s impressive performance powered Flying V Thunder to a 107-96 rout of Wangs Basketball as the Thunder stayed on top of the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig Tuesday.The 26-year-old bruiser led the Thunder with 29 points, 11 rebounds and four assists to keep their record unblemished at 3-0.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Flying V coach Eric Altamirano commended Banal’s consistency in the game.“He was our spark and he took it upon himself to shut down (Robbie) Herndon in the second half,” he said. “But all in all, it was a collective effort from our players.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBanal was pivotal in the game as he started an 11-0 run in the third quarter that helped the Thunder pull away from the Couriers, 86-80, after a slow first half where Herndon put up 20 of his 24 points to lead the scoring for Wangs.Bucking early foul troubles, former La Salle standout Jeron Teng contributed 20 points, six assists and four boards. How much does the PBA owe Mr. Bobong?