New Delhi: India’s star wrestler, Bajrang Puniya, held a press conference in New Delhi where he briefed the media, over his decision of moving to the court, after being snubbed for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.
Despite having a stellar year (2018) of accomplishments, by winning Gold Medals in Jakarta and Gold Coast, his name did not feature on the final list of nominees for the prestigious award.
The multi-award winning Haryana wrestler has a distinguished record in the field of wrestling, he has won a World Championship Bronze medal in 2013 and Silver in 2014, at Incheon Asian Games and Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
This glaring omission from the list of nominated athletes is a massive disappointment to Bajrang, his coaching staff and his fans.
Speaking to the Ten News , the 2015 Arjuna award winner, pointed out his outstanding performances in recent years, “I’m hurt for not being recognized for my talent and performances, I don’t know what was the criteria of selection for this award.What more does i need to do to prove that i’m the best among the better ones.Why political murder of sports. Will the nation stand by me or add one to thousands of frustrated sportsperson.”
He further said,
“I tried calling Rathore sir’s number (Sports Minister – Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore), but he didn’t even reply back. I’m going to meet him in person to enquire about the matter. Anyone can see my record; I have performed consistently for my country. I don’t know what else is there to be done.”
“The World Championship is scheduled to begin next month, and I’m preparing to make my country and people, proud, yet again. But such treatment of athletes by the Sports Ministry shows their ignorance towards rewarding top-notch athletes, and keeping their morale high for the future,” added Punia.
Talking about other nominees, he said, “I’m not against any other athlete winning the award, on the contrary, I’d like to congratulate them for their achievements. But, the selection process must be made transparent.”