The Sports Ministry’s selection committee has finalised the list for this year’s Arjuna Awardees, and Indian sprinting icon Dutee Chand, as well as recurve archer Atanu Das both have made the cut. To be bestowed with the presgitious awards, the sportspersons are both elated as well as motivated.
On 18th August, the selection committee completed the list of 29 athletes to be recommended for this year’s Arjuna Awards, which will be held virtually for the first time on 29th August, the National Sports Day. However, the ministry later decided to omit the names of Sakshi Malik and Saikhom Mirabai Chanu from the list, bringing the list down to 27 athletes.
A motivation for Tokyo Olympics: Dutee Chand hails the Arjuna Award
Two time Asian Games silver medallist sprinter Dutee Chand is taking the Arjuna Awards as a motivation for the Tokyo Olympic Games next year, as well as a stimulus for the young athletes.
“First of all, I would like to thank the state government for recommending me for this year’s Arjuna Awards,” the Sprinter from Odisha said in an interview with ANI, “I’m very happy and proud that I will get the prestigious award in 2020. I have worked hard for this and bagged many medals in the last three years.”
The 25 year old, who is yet to secure her berth for the Olympics next year, emphasised that the coveted Arjuna Awards as an encouragement for Tokyo 2020. She bagged one silver medal each in both Women’s 100 and 200 metres events at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“These awards motivate athlete to achieve more in upcoming tournaments. It will motivate me for the next year’s Tokyo Olympics and it will act as an inspiration for young athletes. I will try hard to win more medals for the country and make India proud,” Dutee added.
At the right time: Atanu Das on being recommended for the Arjuna Awards
Eight years since his fellow archer and life partner Deepika Kumari won her Arjuna Award, Atanu Das can’t be any more glad for being recommended for the eminent honour.
“It has come at the right time,” the world no. 22 spoke to Times of India, “It is a huge boost ahead of next week’s national camp in Pune.”
“I felt I could get it after our good show at the last World Championship,” added Atanu, who clinched silver at the 2019 World Archery Championships in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands as part of the Men’s Team.
Along with team members Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav, Atanu sealed his Tokyo Olympics berth at the World Championships last year, beating Canada 5-3 in the pre-quarterfinals. He also bagged three bronze medals at the 2019 Asian Archery Championships in Bangkok, Thailand.