Wrestler Sushil Kumar, a recipient of three top national awards, on Thursday expressed his reservation about the way honours were being decided saying they must be given ‘after meticulous decision-making.’
“Congrats to the players who won awards this year, I support them. My only request to the government and committee is that awards are prestigious and must be given after meticulous decision-making. Players shouldn’t get awards based on single performance,” ANI quoted Olympian Sushil Kumar as saying on Arjuna Awards, which has 29 nominations this year.
This comes on the day the wrestler won his first Olympic medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Sushil Kumar, who competes in the 66 kg weight division, went on to win the 2010 world title and a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics , which made him the only Indian to win two individual Olympic medals. He was subsequently honoured with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award and Padma Shri over the years.
Earlier, shooter Heena Sidhu had also expressed her surprise over five sports persons being nominated for the highest sports award , the Khel Ratna. Heena, who won the Arjuna award in 2014, took to social media to express her surprise. She wrote, “5 Khel Ratnas… Are you kidding me???!!!”
Asian Games gold medal-winning wrestler Vinesh Phogat, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manika Batra, ace cricketer Rohit Sharma, Paralympic gold medalist Mariappan Thangavelu and Indian women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal have been recommended for Khel Ratna this year. The recommendations were finalised by a 12-member committee appointed by the Sports Ministry.
Among the 29 Arjuna Award nominees are bowler Ishant Sharma, archer Atanu Das, sprinter Dutee Chand, boxers Manish Kaushik and Lovlina Borgohain, shooters Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary, kabaddi player Deepak Hooda, tennis player Divij Sharan, badminton doubles specialists Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, weightlifter Mirabai Chanu and wrestler Sakshi Malik .