India’s Commonwealth Games 2018 gold medallist wrestler Bajrang Punia is not happy with the Khel Ratna snub and he has every reason to be. The 24-year-old wrestler has been consistent of late, winning medals and rising in the sport. According to the current criteria, he has 80 points, the second-highest alongside women wrestler Vinesh Phogat. Still Indian cricket team’s skipper Virat Kohli and world champion Mirabai Chanu were picked ahead of him.
Though the current point system which gives points on the basis of performance in World, Commonwealth, Asian Games and Olympics makes it unfair for cricketers, Punia’s achievements cannot be ignored.
Miffed with the decision, the Arjuna awardee told reporters,
“I’m hurt for not being recognised for my talent and performances, I don’t know what was the criteria of selection for this award. Anyone can see my record. I have performed consistently for my country. I don’t know what else is there to be done.”
Now, the Haryana wrestler has pinned his hopes on Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, he 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. Now my hopes are pinned on Rathore as I believe I am one of the eligible candidates for the award.”
Here’s how Twitterati reacted to the news:
Game Messing with Gems! What is the importance of point system if the officials or ministers will still be arbitrarily? Government should answer why Bajrang Punia ji sacrificed?@BajrangPunia pic.twitter.com/ryy2aFAUxu
— Ankit Singh Rajput (@kshatriyaAnkit4) September 21, 2018
As Presidnt of Haryana Wrestlng Federatn, let me tell the nation that besides hockey, wrestlers from Haryana have given more Olympic medals to the nation thn any other. We don’t deserve this.
Bajrang remains our Olympic hope. pic.twitter.com/UYwav6ddKo
— Deepender S Hooda (@DeependerSHooda) September 21, 2018
Virat hater spotted
Virat brat with zero points getting Khel Ratna award over Bajrang Punia with 80 points is no less than a scam@Ra_THORe Why demoralise potential Olympic medal winners?
— Good Governance (@sri9011) September 21, 2018
Point to be noted
Bajrang Punia gives first gold medal to India in Asian games 2018. But you guys making politics in games also..
— BAWS (@bawsinstitute) September 21, 2018
Is BCCI really behind this?
When BCCI is autonomous why its players are to be considered for govt awards…..
Virat Kohli got Khel Ratna with ‘0’ points, Bajrang Punia lost out with 80 | More sports News – Times of India https://t.co/9WNuzJUkPE
— prithwis chakraborty (@iammithai) September 21, 2018
Even Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh opposed it
— Vijender Singh (@boxervijender) September 21, 2018
We can visualise this already
This is like the Graph stats shown by the Government where 0 points is more than 80
— Amlan (@AmLanSolo) September 21, 2018
#Haryana players are majorly ignored in Sports Awards.
Wrestler @BajrangPunia decide to knock doors of court, being ignored for Rajiv Gandhi #KhelRatna Award. Players with much less credentials than him have been honoured.@Dchautala @rssurjewala @bishnoikuldeep @ArvindKejriwal
— Deepkamal Saharan (@DKSaharan) September 21, 2018
Cricket is the most popular sport in India, just saying.
Cricket is hardly a competitive sport to be compared against any Olympic sport .. no wonder India can’t go beyond being a one sport nation.. performances in global stage like Olympics & FIFA events makes u feel where we standing as a sporting nation..
— Ayan (@Ayanalysis) September 21, 2018
On a lighter note
But this has to be understood that it was Kohli who invited PM Modi on his wedding….not any other athelete had done that….
— Shubhendra Singh (@shubhendra79) September 21, 2018
However, Punia did not mean to belittle the achievements of other athletes. He congratulated them for the award but asked for a more ‘transparent process’. Also, he threatened to move to court if he doesn’t get justice.
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