Olympic bronze medallist wrestler Sakshi Malik and World Weightlifting Championship gold medallist Saikhom Mirabai Chanu were named by the sports ministry’s selection committee to be among the 29 sportspersons recommended for the Arjuna Awards list on Tuesday. However, the ministry has now expelled the names of the two athletes, cutting the list of recommended down to 27.
The names of Sakshi Malik and Saikhom Mirabai Chanu were confirmed to be included in the list that was finalised at the committee meeting in New Delhi. Be that as it may, the wrestler and weightlifter is now out of the list, which was recommended by the selection committee, led by Justice (retd) Mukundakam Sharma.
Sakshi Malik, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu omitted from Arjuna Awards recommended list
The reason to dismiss Sakshi and Mirabai’s names out of the list has been cited to be both of them having been Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardees. However, this decision by the sports ministry to omit Khel Ratna awardees from the list has been met with reproval.
Sakshi, who clinched a bronze at the Summer Olympic in 2016, was bestowed with the honour in the same year. As in the case of Mirabai, who is also a Padma Shri, earned her Khel Ratna in 2018 for her triumph of winning gold at the 2017 World Weightlifting Championships.
This year’s Arjuna Awards will be held on the National Sports Day on 29th August. For the first time in its history, the award ceremony will be held virtually instead of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, due to the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
No competition: Sakshi Malik hints pulling out of national camp
On Friday, Sakshi said that she might decide to pull out of SAI’s national wrestling camp scheduled to commence from 1 September, as no other female wrestlers have confirmed to join the camp yet.
“What is the point of joining the camp if there is no competition? I got to know that many girls have refused to join the camp, so what will I do there and train with whom?” Sakshi said in an interview with IANS.
“There are ten days left for national camp to start, so I will wait and see who all are coming and who aren’t,” the 27 year old added.