Sumit Antil: It's my personal choice to be nominated for Arjuna Award first

It's my personal choice to be nominated for Arjuna Award first, says Tokyo Paralympics gold medallist Sumit Antil.

Sumit Antil won the gold medal in the men's javelin throw at the Tokyo Paralympics. - PTI

Tokyo Paralympics gold medallist Sumit Antil on Friday said it's his wish to be nominated for the Arjuna Award. 

Throwing light on why he was keen to be nominated for the Arjun Award and not the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, the para-athlete said: "It is my personal choice that I want to take Arjuna award first because, from my childhood, I had heard about the award. Any big athlete I heard about or saw would first get the Arjuna Award. From childhood, I dreamt of Arjuna Award."

Commenting on the Khel Ratna Award, he said: "In the future, I would definitely like to get it with my performance, but right now I would want the Arjuna Award. But it's up to the government and committee to take the final call and I feel that will be the best decision."

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The Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) has also recommended the names of shooter Manish Narwal, high jumper Sharad Kumar, shuttler Pramod Bhagat and javelin thrower Sundar Singh Gurjar for Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award 2021. All four brought laurels for India in the recently concluded Tokyo Paralympics.

Deepa Malik, the President of the PCI, said winning the award will motivate athletes to perform well in the Paris Games in 2024. "Our players did so well in this paralympic and we are proud of them. These awards will motivate them to put more effort in the next Games and they deserve that too as they have made the nation proud," Deepa Malik told ANI.

Last month, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur said the medal winners in the Tokyo Paralympics will be rewarded at this year's National Sports Awards and hence the ceremony was postponed.

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