Historic day for Indian boxing, says Chautala | other | Hindustan Times
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Historic day for Indian boxing, says Chautala

Indian Boxing Federation (IBF) president Abhay Singh Chautala called it a "historic" day for the sport in the country after Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh and four-time world boxing champion M C Marykom were declared recipients of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.

other Updated: Jul 29, 2009 22:23 IST

Indian Boxing Federation (IBF) president Abhay Singh Chautala called it a "historic" day for the sport in the country after Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh and four-time world boxing champion M C Marykom were declared recipients of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.

For the first time since the inception of the Khel Ratna award in 1991, three sportspersons - Marykom, and Olympic bronze medallists boxer Vijender and wrestler Sushil Kumar - will receive the country's highest sporting honour in the same year.

The only other time more than one sportsperson were bestowed the award was in 2002-03 when shooter Anjali Vedpathak and athlete K M Beenamol shared it. It was more heartening for the Indian Boxing Federation as two boxers will receive the honour.

"It is the first time in India that any single discipline has received two Khel Ratnas in the same year," Chautala said in a statement.

"They have done the sport proud by their achievements. I thank the government and Sports Minister M S Gill for having taken the bold step of giving recognition to the deserving sportspersons."

IBF secretary general P K Muralidharan Raja said it will not only boost their morale for their earlier achievements but will also spur them to reach greater heights in International Championships.

"Vijender will get an opportunity to break the jinx that India has not won a single medal at the World Boxing Championships in September. Similarly Marykom may get an opportunity to bring India its first Olympics medal if the sport gets introduced at London Olympic Games 2012."