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Athens hero Rathore returns on Saturday

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
Last updated on: August 20, 2004 21:06 IST
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Officials of the Indian Olympic Association and the National Rifle Association of India, Arjuna Award-winners, and officers of the Indian Army will join members of Major Rajyavardhan S Rathore's family at Delhi airport to receive the Athens Olympics hero when he returns home tomorrow.

Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Sunil Dutt will lead them in welcoming back home the man who created history by becoming the first Indian to win a silver medal in an individual event at the Olympic Games.

Major Rajyavardhan S Rathore"Maj Rathore will return home at 9.20am on an Emirates flight from Dubai," an excited Gayatri, his wife, told "Members of our household led by my father-in-law Colonel Laxman Singh Rathore and mother-in-law Mrs Manju Rathore will be there at the airport to receive him."

Maj Rathore's father drove to New Delhi from Jaipur this evening along with some other family members. His sister Ritu Chohan and her husband have already arrived in the capital. Relatives and friends of the hero are still pouring into his Delhi Cantonment house to congratulate the family.

On Thursday, a congratulatory letter from President A P J Abdul Kalam was delivered at the house. A copy of the message had been faxed to Rathore in Athens soon after he won the silver medal in the men's double trap shooting event on Tuesday, August 17.

Click here for an exclusive interview with Major R S Rathore

A meeting with the President will be arranged once the full Olympic contingent returns home. The sports ministry is also organising Rathore's meetings with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

On his arrival in New Delhi, the army officer will be driven straight to South Block for an audience with his chief, General Nirmal Chand Vij. In the evening, he will attend a tea party hosted in his honour by Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.

Also See: The man behind Rathore's success

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi