The long wait finally over for former boxing world champion Lekha

K. C. Lekha, the 2006 World Champion, has been awarded the Dhyan Chand award for life time achievement this year.

KC Lekha

K. C. Lekha is Kerala's only world champion in any discipline till date. (File Image)   -  H. Vibhu

For former World boxing champion K. C. Lekha, the long wait is finally over.

The 2006 World Champion had craved for recognition and had applied for Arjuna and Dhyan Chand awards since her retirement in 2013. But she was left frustrated and disappointed every year when she found her name missing in the list of awardees. Lekha was finally relieved when she was awarded the Dhyan Chand award for life time achievement this year.

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"Better late than never. It is a great relief I had given up all hope.  I missed out on Arjuna award when I was active as a boxer. It was painful to see boxers whom I had defeated were given the Arjuna award ahead of me. I dedicate this award to my coaches, my parents and all those who supported me in my career," said the GV Raja awardee, who is Kerala's only world champion in any discipline till date.

The former athlete-turned-boxer is sad that Kerala, which once dominated women's boxing, is now struggling to win a medal in the national championship. Lekha blamed the present day boxers of lacking dedication and is ready to groom and train young boxers if given an opportunity.

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"I think the present lot lack dedication despite being given the best of facilities and training. They don't have the will to do hard work and look for short term gains. We were more dedicated and had to fight many battles both on and off the ring. I have taken a diploma in coaching and want to give something back to this sports. I want to start a boxing academy in Kannur and my dream is to produce boxing champions. But my present job doesn't offer me any time or opportunities to chase that dream," said Lekha.

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