'This country is a joke': HS Prannoy disappointed after being overlooked for Arjuna Award nomination once again
HS Prannoy let his frustration show after not being nominated for the national sports awards for a second year running.
Badminton player HS Prannoy has hit out at Badminton Federation of India (BFI) for not including his name as a contender for the Arjuna Award for a second year running. On Tuesday, BAI recommended doubles experts Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty along with singles player Sameer Verma for the national sports award.
According to Prannoy, his achievements are bigger than Verma’s while stating the 25-year-old “hasn't won any major medals” that he has. He believes the reason for his omission from the nominees is his outspoken nature while ignoring his prowess on the court.
“I felt I could have been recommended but they have sent Sameer’s name. I felt I’m a big prospect in that list but they denied by name and put Sameer’s name. Sameer didn’t play any major events in the last four years and didn’t have any of the major medals that I have,” Prannoy told The Quint.
Prannoy recently won a gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in mixed team event, a bronze at the Asian Championships and a bronze in men's team at the Asian Team Championships.
In the January 2016 — December 2019 period, the qualifying period for nominations, Verma's best showing have been titles at 2017 and 2018 Syed Modi International, 2018 Swiss Open, 2018 Hyderabad Open; final in Hong Kong in 2016 and semi-finals at 2018 BWF World Tour Finals. On the other hand, Prannoy won the 2016 Swiss Open and 2017 US Open.
“You shouldn’t have to apply for such awards. It should be given according to your performance. It shouldn't be that you apply and you ask your association to send your name. I feel anybody who is sitting in the association can tamper your chances to get something like this,” Prannoy claimed.
In a tweet, Prannoy said, "Same old story. Guy who has Medals in Cwg and Asian Championships not even recommended by Association. And guy who was not there on any of these major events recommended #waah #thiscountryisajoke."
#arjunaawards Same old story. Guy who has Medals in Cwg and Asian Championships not even recommended by Association. And guy who was not there on any of these major events recommended #waah #thiscountryisajoke
— PRANNOY HS (@PRANNOYHSPRI) June 2, 2020
A year earlier, he had tweeted, "If you ever want your name in the Awards list , make sure you have people who will get your name to the list. Performance is least considered in our country. Sad state of our county but can’t help it. Let go and just play until you can."
If you ever want your name in the Awards list , make sure you have people who will get your name to the list. Performance is least considered in our country. Sad state of our county but can’t help it. Let go and just play until you can. #arjunaawards
— PRANNOY HS (@PRANNOYHSPRI) August 17, 2019
Parupalli Kashyap came out in support of Prannoy, questioning the system for applying for an award. Prannoy also found support from other badminton stars.
— Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) June 3, 2020
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Prannoy, who reached back-to-back quarter-finals at the World Championships and Japan Open Super 750, jumped a spot to 15th.
Indian Olympics Association, Sports Authority of India, recognised National Sports Federations have also been informed about the extended date to October 1 for application of National Sports Award.