Prime Sports, National Sport, Wrestling, New Delhi, June 1:- Ace wrestler Vinesh Phogat is set to be recommended by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) for India’s highest sporting honour the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. This will be the second consecutive time that the 25-year-old would be recommended for the award.
WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh will finalise the recommendations and send it to the Sports Ministry on Monday. “For the Khel Ratna, Vinesh is our sole recommendation,” WFI secretary Vinod Tomar said as quoted by IANS on Sunday.
Vinesh was recommended for the prestigious sporting honour last year as well, alongside Bajrang Punia, but the latter ended up winning the award along with 2016 Paralympics silver medallist Deepa Malik. Vinesh had previously won the Arjuna Award in 2016.
Vinesh currently holds the third spot in the world rankings in the 53kg category. She qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in her first attempt by winning bronze at the 2019 Wrestling World Championships. She then started 2020 with a gold at the Rome Ranking Series and later won bronze at the 2020 Asian Championships in New Delhi. It was her second consecutive bronze in the competition having won the same in Xi’an last year.
Vinesh was a medal contender going into the 2016 Olympics but a career-threatening injury in the quarter-final ended her quest in Rio. Since returning to wrestling, Vinesh won gold at the 2018 Asian Games and her performances over the past two years mean she remains a medal contender going into the postponed Tokyo Olympics. (MR, Inputs: Agencies)