Irfan gets a hero’s welcome

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Thousands of people thronged Al-Anwar higher secondary school on Monday for a glimpse of their Olympian and national record winner K.T. Irfan who was given a rousing reception at Kuniyil, near Areekode in Malappuram, on Monday.

Irfan, known to many as Malappuram Express for his walking expertise, had finished 10th at the 20 km walking competition in London Olympics.

On his arrival at the international airport here in his first homecoming after the Olympics, Irfan was received by minister for urban development Manjalamkuzhi Ali along with hundreds of his fans. From there, he drove in an open jeep to the Al-Anwar School, where he had studied till Tenth, trailed by a procession of bikes.

At the reception, Eranad MLA P.K. Basheer announced that a Rs20 lakh fund would be raised from sports lovers for Irfan, to construct a house for the Olympian.

“The state government has appointed a three-member committee to provide all kinds of support to Irfan. We are willing to provide him the best coaching facility,” said education minister P.K. Abdu Rabb.

Besides, if Irfan would like to work in Kerala, the state government would be willing to give him a sports-related job, the minister said.

“I am thrilled. Everything was like a dream. I am happy to be here,” said a joyous Irfan.

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