New Delhi: Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) recommended Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat for the highest sporting award in the country after their remarkable performances in the last year or two.
Bajrang, who is currently the world No.1, recently stamped his authority on Asia after he won the Asian Wrestling Championships in Xi’an, China after winning the gold medal at Asian Games last year.
Bajrang will be India’s big medal hope at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, owing to the brilliant performances he has put in recent times.
The other wrestler to make a big mark in the past year is Vinesh Phogat. Even though Vinesh could only get a bronze from Asian Wrestling Championships, she has only recently switched her weight category which makes it a solid achievement.
Vinesh is also the first woman wrestler to win gold at the Asian Games when she did the same last year in Jakarta.
Apart from these two, WFI recommended Rahul Aware, Asian Wrestling Championships silver-medallist Harpreet Singh, bronze medallist Divya Kakran and Pooja Dhanda for Arjuna award.
Pooja Dhanda had won a bronze medal at the World Championships last year while she also bagged a silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Rahul Aware was the 57kg category gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games last year.
WFI has also recommended Virender Kumar, Sujeet Maan, Narendra Kumar and Vikram Kumar for Dronacharya award and Bheem Singh and Jai Prakash for Dhyanchand award.
Last year, Bajrang Punia had sprung an uproar after he had not been conferred with Khel Ratna while Virat Kohli and Mirabai Chanu took the honours.
Bajrang had threatened to move the court before his mentor and former wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt advised him otherwise.
Bajrang would be hoping to make the cut this time around.