The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Monday recommended recently-crowned Asian Champion Bajrang Punia and last year’s Asian Games gold-medallist Vinesh Phogat for the country’s highest sporting honour – the Rajeev Khel Ratna award.
Bajrang and Vinesh’s names were sent by WFI owing to their remarkable performances in the last couple of years.
“They (Bajrang and Vinesh) have been recommended for Khel Ratna by the WFI after both of them submitted their applications,” a WFI official confirmed.
World no. 1 Bajrang has recently stamped his authority at the Asian Championship in Xi’an, China by clinching a gold medal in the men’s 65kg freestyle event.
Last year, the 25-year-old grappler had bagged the gold medal at the Jakarta Asian Games too.
Vinesh could only win a bronze at the recent Asian Championship, after competing in a new weight category of 53kg. In 2018, the 24-year-old became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Asian Games.
Besides Bajrang and Vinesh, WFI has recommended names of Rahul Aware, Harpreet Singh, Divya Kakran and Pooja Dhanda for the Arjuna award.