HS Prannoy slams BAI after Arjuna award snub: The same old story

Updated: Jun 04, 2020, 08:28 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

India badminton player HS Prannoy slams BAI after Arjuna award snub for second consecutive year; fellow shuttlers Kashyap, Pawar, Atri offer support

HS Prannoy
HS Prannoy

Livid at not being nominated for the Arjuna award for the second consecutive year, Indian shuttler HS Prannoy said players less accomplished than him have been recommended by the Badminton Association of India (BAI). The BAI on Tuesday recommended top doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty and men's singles player Sameer Verma for the coveted award. Prannoy took to Twitter to express his displeasure. "#arjunaawards Same old story. Guy who has Medals in Cwg and Asian Championships not even recommended by Association. And guy who was not there on any of these major events recommended #waah #thiscountryisajoke," Prannoy wrote.

The nominees are...

Out of the three recommendations, Satwik-Chirag won the silver at 2018 CWG, but Sameer has never played at the prestigious tournament. He didn't have a good run last year. The 2016 Hong Kong Open finalist, however, was in sizzling form in 2018, winning three titles to reach a career-best ranking of World No. 11. His dazzling run also earned him a place in the BWF World Tour Finals 2018 where he reached semis.

We were diligent: BAI

BAI said it has "diligently assessed the performances of the athletes and coaches during the last four years before sending the names to the Sports Ministry for the recommendation." In the last four years, Prannoy had a good run in 2018 where he won a gold medal as part of the Indian mixed team that became champions at the Commonwealth Games for the first time.

He won a bronze at the Wuhan Asian Championships and achieved a career-best ranking of World No. 8 in May, 2018. In 2017, Prannoy had defeated former World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and reigning Olympic Champion Chen Long of China in successive matches at the Indonesian Open. He also reached the final of the US Open the same year. He was also part of the men's team that won bronze medals at the Asia Team C'ships in 2016 and 2020.

Kashyap, Pawar vocal

Prannoy received a lot of support from his fellow shuttlers. CWG champion Parupalli Kashyap tweeted: "Never actually understood the system of applying for an award. I hope this changes. Be strong, bro." Mumbai-based shuttler Anand Pawar said that it was sad to see Prannoy miss out again. "That's really sad! Was quite shocked to see the choices for the Dronacharya Award too." To this, Prannoy replied: "We can just be sad, mate. Many reasons why so many quit this sport
very early."

India's doubles shuttler Manu Atri also supported Prannoy. "That's true. It's always sad to see such things happening and we can't even do anything about it," Atri tweeted.

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