National

Saina Nehwal disappointed as Application for Padma Award Rejected

New Delhi, Jan 03: Olympic bronze-medallist Saina Nehwal was disappointed after the Sports Ministry rejected her application for the prestigious Padma Bhushan award this year. She questioned why her name was not recommended whereas athlete Sushil Kumar was selected as the more deserving candidate.

Badminton Association of India (BAI) had recommended Saina's name for the award to the Sports Ministry in August last year. But the ministry selected Sushil Kumar, the two-time Olympic medallist wrestler, for the honour. Her name was dropped in the list citing norms.

Questioning over the selection process and the norms, Saina, who was awarded the Padma Shri in 2010, asked why her name was not chosen for the award if Kumar was considered as the more deserving candidate.

"I heard that Sushil Kumar's name was sent for Padma award as a special case, while my name was not sent to Ministry of home affairs by sports ministry. The ministry guidelines say that there needs to be a gap of five years between Padma awards. So if they can send his name, why not mine as I have completed five years gap. I felt bad about it", she said to media.

She claimed that her application was rejected last year also on similar grounds. But this year the ministry recommended Sushil, who has not completed the five-year-gap-norm. He was conferred Padma Shri in 2011. 

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