Women's wrestler Vinesh Phogat has been nominated by the Wrestling Association of India (WFI) for the country's biggest sports award, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, while World Championship medalist Rahul Aware, who has qualified for the Olympics, Deepak Poonia and Sakshi Malik, besides two others The wrestlers have been nominated for the Arjuna Award. Vinesh is the only Indian woman wrestler to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. His name was already expected to be sent for the award, but WFI has surprisingly nominated five players for the Arjuna Award.
Sakshi Malik Arjuna Award contender for Khel Ratna
Although Sakshi Malik, who won a medal in the Rio Olympics, could not do much in the last three years and lost several times to her junior players, the WFI did not reject her candidature. Deepak Poonia and Rahul Aware's candidature will be strong. World Championship silver medalist Deepak has repeated the strong performance of the junior class in the senior category, while Rahul also won the bronze medal in this tournament held in Noor Sultan. The WFI also named Sandeep Tomar and Greco Roman wrestler Naveen. This is a surprising decision as his performance is as sloppy as Sakshi. Sakshi has already received Khel Ratna (2016).
Nominations for Dronacharya and Dhyanchandra Awards
The WFI has nominated Virender Kumar and national women's team coach Kuldeep Malik for the Dronacharya Award. Virendra Kumar is credited with grooming the careers of world champions Deepak Poonia and Ravi Dahiya. Kuldeep has been serving coaching for a long time, under his supervision, a national camp is organized in Lucknow, he is credited with making Sakshi's career. Sports Authority of India (SAI) coaches OP Yadav and Sujit Mann have also been nominated for the Dronacharya Award. Jai Prakash, Anil Kumar, Dushyant Sharma, and Mukesh Khatri have been nominated for Dhyanchand Awards.