Asian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist wrestler Bajrang Punia was on Friday nominated for India’s highest sporting honour – the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.
His name was finalised by a 12-member selection committee on the opening day of a two-day meeting. The panel comprises of the likes of Bhaichung Bhutia and MC Mary Kom among others.
“Bajrang has been nominated for the Khel Ratna award. His name was a unanimous choice,” an official was quoted as saying by PTI.
The official also said that the 12-member panel may add another athlete for the top honour on Saturday besides finalising the names for the Arjuna and Dronacharya awards.
“I had the achievements to deserve this award. I have always said that awards should go to the most deserving ones,” Punia said.
Punia had last year won the gold medal in the 65-kg freestyle event at the Asian Games held in Jakarta. He had also won the gold medal in the same category at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
He is also a two-time medallist at the world championships and a strong medal hope for India at next year’s Tokyo Olympics.