Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia recommended for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna; Bajrang Punia to fight at Madison Square Garden - Current Affairs

Story 1: Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia recommended for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award

The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on April 29, 2019 recommended the names of Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2019.

Currently, the number one wrestler, Bajrang Punia recently marked his authority over Asia after winning the Asian Wrestling Championships 2019 in Xi'an, China.

Punia had in 2018 won the gold medal in the 65 kg freestyle wrestling event at the Asian Games held in Jakarta. He defeated Japanese wrestler Takatani Daichi 11-8. He also managed to win gold in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Silver in the World Championships in 2018.

On the other hand, Vinesh Phogat became the first Indian woman wrestler to win Gold in both Commonwealth and Asian Games 2018.

At the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Vinesh won gold in women's freestyle 50 kg event by defeating Canada's Jessica MacDonald. On the other hand in the Asian Games, she created history by becoming the first Indian woman wrestler to win gold by beating Japan's Yuki Irie.

WFI’s recommendation for 2019 Arjuna Award, Dronacharya Award & Dhyan Chand Award

  • The WFI recommended Rahul Aware, Harpreet Singh, Divya Kakran and Pooja Dhanda for the Arjuna Award.
  • Virender Kumar, Sujeet Maan, Narendra Kumar and Vikram Kumar have been recommended for Dronacharya Award.
  • Bheem Singh and Jai Prakash have been recommended for the Dhyan Chand Award.

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna is the highest sporting honour of India, named after Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India.

The award comprises a medallion, a citation, and a cash prize of Rupees 7.5 lakh. The recipients are selected by a committee constituted by the Ministry and are honoured for their "spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports over a period of four years" at international level.

Story 2: Bajrang Punia becomes first Indian wrestler to fight at New York’s Madison Square Garden

Bajrang Punia became first Indian wrestler to be invited by American wrestling body for a special fight at iconic Madison Square Garden in New York, United States.

Punia will take on two-time US national champion Yianni Diakomahlis in “Grapple at the Garden” Beat the Streets fight night event, a major showcase platform for international wrestling since 2010.

India’s number one wrestler, Punia is among other top wrestlers selected by American wrestling body for tournament scheduled to be held on May 6, 2019.

About Bajrang Punia

Punia settled for silver at the 2018 World Wrestling Championships. However, after that silver medal, he claimed the world no. 1 spot in 65kg category.

He picked gold at the 2018 Asian Games in the men's freestyle 65 kg category.

The Wrestler continued his gold-winning streak by winning the gold in men's freestyle 65 kg category at the 2018 Commonwealth Games held at Gold Coast, Australia.

He won a gold medal at the Asian Wrestling Championship held at Delhi in 2017.

At the Asian Wrestling Championships in 2014 in Astana, Kazakhstan, Punia had won the silver medal in the men's freestyle 61 kg category, losing 0-4 to Masoud Esmaeilpour of Iran.

Punia began wrestling at the age of seven and was encouraged to pursue the sport by his father. In 2015, his family moved to Sonepat from Jhajjar district so that he can attend a regional centre of Sports Authority of India.

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