Vinesh for Khel Ratna; Rahul Aware, Deepak Punia and Sakshi nominated for Arjuna

Among the Arjuna Award nominees are 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medal winner Sakshi Malik, who is already the recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.

Vinesh Phogat was conferred with Arjuna Award in 2016.

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) has nominated world championships bronze medallist and Asian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, and five others for the Arjuna Award.

In addition, the federation has submitted four nominations each for the Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Awards.

Among the Arjuna Award nominees are 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medal winner Sakshi Malik, who is already the recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.

Deepak Punia and Rahul Aware, who won silver and bronze, respectively, at the 2019 world championships at Nur-Sultan in Kazakhstan, are among the others nominated for the Arjuna Award, alongside Sandeep Tomar and Greco-Roman wrestler Naveen.

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The WFI has nominated Virender Kumar, who has been credited with shaping the careers of Deepak Punia and Ravi Dahiya, also a world championships bronze medallist, for the Dronacharya Award along with national women’s coach Kuldeep Malik, who oversees the national camp in Lucknow and has been credited with Sakshi Malik’s rise.

Sports Authority of India coach O. P. Yadav and Sujit Mann have also been nominated for the Dronacharya Award.

The WFI nominee for the Dhyan Chand Award are Jai Prakash, Anil Kumar, Dushyant Sharma and Mukesh Khatri.

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“We have returned a few applications as well. The committee will scrutinise all applications. We have done what, as a federation, we could have done for the wrestlers,” said WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar.

A panel formed by the union sports ministry will shortlist the nominations received from the various national federations, and the awards will be presented on National Sports Day, August 29.

List of candidates:

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna: Vinesh Phogat.

Arjuna Award: Deepak Punia, Rahul Aware, Sakshi Malik, Sandeep Tomar, Naveen.

Dronacharya Award: Virender Kumar, Kuldeep Malik, OP Yadav, Sujit Mann.

Dhyan Chand Award: Jai Prakash, Anil Kumar, Dushyant Sharma, Mukesh Khatri.

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