India’s star wrestler Vinesh Phogat vehemently expressed her displeasure after missing out from the list of Padma award winners announced on Saturday. Vinesh not only questioned the jury panel but also raised a point over the criteria for selecting winners for the coveted awards.
The 25-year-old grappler, who became the first Indian woman to win a gold at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships, did not feature in the list of eight sportspersons who were awarded the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
After missing out on the list, Vinesh took to his official Twitter handle to slam the selection panel and questioned their credibility. She also pointed to the fact that how several sportspersons miss out every year despite performing well at the international stage.
“Every year our government awards several sportspersons. This award serves as great encouragement for sports and for athletes to continue chasing excellence but is also seen that numerous times, these awards don’t honour current achievements or instances of sporting success in the recent past,” Vinesh posted a screenshot on her official twitter page.
“It’s almost like the deserving get left out each time. This has become a pattern. The 2020 Awards list is no different. Who decides who shall be awarded? Are there current or former athletes in the jury? How does it even work? At the end it all just seems slightly unfair,” it further stated.
In 2019, the young Phogat won two bronze medals (Asian and World Wrestling Championships). She also won two gold in Yasar Dogu International and Poland Open wrestling tournament in Warsaw.
Vinesh also started 2020 with a bag after winning the gold medal at the Rome Ranking series event. She is also one of the Indian wrestlers to have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Here is the list of awardees for this year:
MC Mary Kom (Boxing)
PV Sindhu (Badminton)
Zaheer Khan (Cricket)
Oinam Bembem Devi (Football)
MP Ganesh (Hockey)
Jitu Rai (Shooting)
Tarundeep Rai (Archery)
Rani Rampal (Hockey)