Sunil ‘extremely happy’ at being recommended for Arjuna award

Karnataka's S. V. Sunil and Prakash Nanjappa have expressed their delight after they were recommended for the Arjuna award on Thursday.

S. V. Sunil... “It feels good that my efforts are recognised.”   -  K. Murali Kumar

Karnataka's S. V. Sunil and Prakash Nanjappa have expressed their delight after they were recommended for the Arjuna award on Thursday.

"I don't have words; I'm extremely happy," said Sunil, a veteran of 215 international caps for the Indian men's hockey team. "I have been playing for so long. It feels good that my efforts have been recognised. This would not have been possible without Hockey India, my team-mates and the coaching staff."

The 28-year-old forward was given the news before the evening's training session began at the National camp here. "The coaches told us that Sardar Singh had won the Khel Ratna and I the Arjuna; it was double joy for the team," said Sunil. "They were all thrilled. There is a positive vibe in the camp. The coaches even called two junior players and told them that if they worked hard, they would win awards like us too."

Nanjappa, who won a silver in the 10m air pistol at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, was equally pleased. "I was nominated for it the last three times but somehow I missed out. I'm definitely very happy now," he said. "All I want to do is represent India but this award is a big boost. There is a long way to go for me but this is motivation."