Two time Olympic medal winner wrestler Sushil Kumar on Monday made a strong pitch for awarding Padma Bhushan to ace shuttler Saina Nehwal. Sushil Kumar was in Bhopal to inaugurate a national sports event under Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan.
"I also want that Saina should be awarded with Padma Bhushan. She is a great player and had performed very well," said Sushil.
Sushil and Saina had won medals for India in 2012 London Olympics.
Saina had earlier registered her grievances after the union sports ministry had not forwarded her name for Padma Bhushan award to union home ministry. The ministry had recommended Sushil Kumar's name for Padma award.
She also alleged that Badminton Association of India (BAI) had recommended her name to union sports ministry for the award but the ministry didn't forward it to home ministry.
After her constant objection for not recommending her name, the sports ministry later decided to recommend her for the Padma Bhushan award but insisted that it did not receive her nomination from the Badminton Association of India (BAI) within the stipulated deadline.
Meanwhile, talking about the preparations for 2016 Rio Olympics, he said he is working hard to bring a medal for the country. At present, he is stressing more on technical aspects to improve his performance, he added. He said there are many other good wrestlers in the country like Yogeshwar Dutt, Amit Kumar, Satyavrat who are performing really well and can bring medals for the country.
Sushil also said that he will be starting his wrestling academy soon in Madhya Pradesh. He said he would also provide training to some wrestlers of the state in the academy where he practices. He also appreciated the initiative of Madhya Pradesh government for promoting traditional sports like Kho Kho and Kabbadi.