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Gandhinagar, Friday: Chief Minister Narendra Modi today felicitated 11 mentally challenged children from Gujarat, including seven girls, who won gold and silver medals in different events at Special Olympics International Athletic event held at Athens in Greece from June 25 to July 4 last.

Nearly 7,500 from 180 countries, including 140 from India, took part in the event. The medal winners proudly showed the medals to the Chief Minister, exchanged pleasantries and clicked photographs with him at his residence at a small and simple function here.

The Gujarat chapter of India's Special Olympics Institute coach talented young mentally retarded athletes of above 8-year. The institute has so far registered 84,562 athletes after talent search. It has 5,232 coaches and 441 trainers, backed by 19,831 volunteers and 16,400 families of the less privileged children.

The Gujarat chapter's president Rakesh Shah, who is also an MLA, said that chairmen of Indian chapter Air Marshal D. Keelor and Asia Pacific MD David Rutherford considered Gujarat as a role model for talent search and training young athletes.

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