Bajrang peeved with Khel Ratna snub

Bajrang peeved with Khel Ratna snub

Bajrang Punia. PTI

Bajrang Punia feels wronged on being denied the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award this year. The wrestler will be meeting Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Friday to discuss why his name was not considered for country's highest sports award.

The Commonwealth Games and Asian Games gold medallist said he would approach court if he was not given a satisfactory explanation for the snub. The awards selection committee had picked Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and World Champion weightlifter Mirabai Chanu for the award this year.

Bajrang, who won gold medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, claimed he deserved the award based on the point system.

“Now there is points system in place for the award. Everyone today can know the points, not just of my own but of all the nominees and winners. And I have maximum points. So I am meeting the sports minister tomorrow because I want to know why my name was not recommended for Khel Ratna,” he said on Wednesday.

Bajrang, who was recommended for the award by Wrestling Federation of India, said he should be given the award only if he was found deserving. “But if they don't find me deserving, I will also like to know why. If they cannot give me a good reason, I will have no option but to move court,” said Bajrang who won a silver in Incheon Asian Games and claimed bronze in the 2013 World Championships.

The 24-year-old admitted he would have preferred the award without asking for it. “But in a contact sport like wrestling you never know when you can get injured. You won't like to take the risk of waiting for another year, in fact no athlete will like to do that,” said Bajrang.