Bajrang Punia nominated for India's highest sporting honor
Famed Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia has been nominated for India's highest sporting honor - the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award on Friday. Punia's name was finalized by a 12-member selection committee on the opening day of a two-day meeting. As per reports, his name was a unanimous choice. Punia is currently preparing for the World Championships. Here's more.
12-member panel nominates Bajrang Punia
The 12-member panel comprises of Bhaichung Bhutia and MC Mary Kom among others. "Bajrang has been nominated for the Khel Ratna award. His name was a unanimous choice," an official said to PTI. The report also added that besides Punia, another athlete will be considered for the highest honor of the country. The panel also finalized the names for the Arjuna and Dronacharya awards.
I had the achievements to deserve this award: Punia
"I had the achievements to deserve this award. I have always said that awards should go to the most deserving ones," Punia said.
Punia will aim to do well in the World Championships
Punia, who is a strong medal hope for India at next year's Tokyo Olympics, will be aiming to do well in the World Championships. Bajrang had earlier won a bronze medal in 2013 and a silver in 2018 World Championships. He will be keen to add a third medal in his kitty. This is also set to be his sixth attempt in the competition.
Punia has been in strong form
Recently, Punia managed to defend his title at the Tbilisi Grand Prix being held in Georgia. He prevailed 2-0 over Iran's Peiman Bibyani in the 65kg final of the men's freestyle competition. Bajrang picked up his fourth gold medal in 2019 and it has been a stunning ride for him. Last year he won the gold at the Asian and Commonwealth Games respectively.