'Feel let down for not getting Khel Ratna'

It was a mixed feeling for Paralympic silver medallist in high jump Girisha HN who was recommended for the prestigious Arjuna Award on Tuesday along with 14 other sportsman.

While expressing his happiness over being recommended for the honour, the Karnataka athlete, who cleared 1.74 metres to finish second at the 2012 London Paralympics, said he felt let down for not considering him for the highest sporting award in the country -- Khel Ratna. .

“As a sportsman, I am happy that my name has been recommended for the Arjuna award but I want to know why I was denied Khel Ratna,” Girisha said. “Though I met all the norms to be eligible for Khel Ratna, it’s deeply disappointing to know that I was not considered worthy enough to receive the award. It’s regretful that there appears to be a lack of respect for achievements by para athletes,” he noted.

Along with Girisha, two more Karnataka sportspersons bagged the award -- Mamata Poojary, who led Indian women’s kabaddi team to gold medal in the last Asian Games, and golfer Anirban Lahiri.

Mamata was understandably elated. “This is one of happiest moments for me,” she said. “I did expect the award. In fact last year itself, I thought I would get it, but no one from kabaddi was given the award. It’s a great motivating factor for me and the kabaddi fraternity.” 

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