Despite receiving India’s highest sports honour the Khel Ratna, former world weightlifting champion Mirabai Chanu has been nominated for the Arjuna Award by the national federation. Also Read - Weightlifter Sanjita Chanu to Get Arjuna Award After Dope Charges Dropped
Chanu was bestowed with the Khel Ratna award in 2018 alongside India cricket team captain Virat Kohli. In the same year, she was also given the Padma Shri – country’s fourth-highest civilian award. Also Read - Badminton: HS Prannoy Apologises to BAI Over Arjuna Award Outburst on Twitter
However, the 25-year-old said she would like to get the Arjuna Award despite already receiving the highest sporting honour. “I know Khel Ratna is the highest but I missed out on the Arjuna award earlier and I want it too. Sometimes you want all of it. Players like to get the Arjuna award,” Mirabai told PTI. Also Read - Indian Weightlifting Federation Halts Usage of China-made Equipment Due to Defects
Chanu was given Khel Ratna and Padma Shri for winning the 2017 weightlifting championships in the USA.
“I had also applied for Arjuna award in 2018. We had applied for both the Arjuna award and the Khel Ratna then,” she said.
In September last year, Chanu breached the 200 kg mark at the world championships improving her personal best in all the three sections She lifted a total of 201 kg including 87 kg in snatch followed by 114kg in clean and jerk.
The Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) secretary general Sahadev Yadav said “it is possible” for a sportsperson to be nominated for Arjuna Award after having already being given Khel Ratna.
IWLF has also nominated Ragala Venkat Rahul and Punam Yadav for the award.
Rahul, 23, has won two Commonwealth Championships gold medals, a gold at the 2018 CWG and several medals at the junior circuit as well.
Punam is a 2018 CWG gold medallist and a silver medallist at the Commonwealth Senior Weightlifting Championships
The last weightlifter to have won the Arjuna Award was two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sathish Sivalingam in 2015.