Ministry in a quandary over sports awards announcement

Senior officials in the department of sports yesterday confirmed that the list has been finalised but they are unable to say what the hitch was in making the formal announcement.

A top official, on condition of anonymity, expressed his helplessness in throwing any light on the impasse and claimed the file was still with Sports Minister Jitendra Singh.

“The matter is still undecided. Even I don’t know when the announcement will be made. The file is still with the minister,” the official said.

Intense lobbying for getting female discus thrower Krishna Poonia the Khel Ratna, the highest sports award, has put the ministry in a fix.

The ministry was supposed to make the list final on Tuesday, but Poonia, who is upset at not getting the Khel Ratna, spent the whole day lobbying for the award at the ministry.

Double trap shooter Ronjan Sodhi has been recommended for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, India’s highest sporting honour, by the award’s committee.

The award’s selection committee is headed by three-time billiards World Champion Michael Ferreira and comprises former India hockey captain Zafar Iqbal, archer Limba Ram, cricketer Ravi Shastri and table tennis player Indu Puri amongst others.

Besides Poonia, a 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, 2012 London Paralympics silver medallist HN Girisha has also made his case for the Khel Ratna. 

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