Wrestler Bajrang Punia, who made the nation proud at the Olympics, Asian Games, and the Commonwealth Games, has been named for the highest sporting honor Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award 2019. Punia’s name was stamped after several rounds of meetings and discussions between a 12-member selection committee. The panel was led by Justice (Retd) Mukundakam Sharma comprises senior players like Bhaichung Bhutia and MC Mary Kom who have made India shine on many occasions.
News agency PTI reported that Bajrang Punia has been nominated for the Khel Ratna award. His name was a unanimous choice. A source told the media that the panel is still churning to finalize Arjuna and Dronacharya award meritorious.
Earlier, Bajrang had said he will move the court after he was snubbed for the Khel Ratna award last year despite winning gold the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.
After the announcement of his name, Bajrang Punia addressed the media and said that got this award because he deserves it. Punia, who is currently in Georgia, training for the upcoming World Championships, said his job is to train, perform and win medals for the country. His focus has always been on the betterment of the game and to perform best.
He said he never thinks for the awards but the recognition does come in the way when a player performs well.
He added that he made the nation proud many times and had the achievements to deserve this award. The best awards should go to the most deserving candidates.
Bajrang Punia has a huge fan following around the World and a bag full of medals. Last year, he had won gold at the Asian Games held in Jakarta in the 65-kg freestyle event.