AS many as 84 sportspersons have applied for the Arjuna award,60 coaches for the Dronacharya award,and 45 for the Dhyan Chand award given for lifetime achievement in sports this year. Of these,the selection panel has to pick 12 sportspersons for the Arjuna award,five coaches for the Dronacharya and three for the Dhyan Chand.
Interestingly,four Wushu coaches Mohammad Islamuddin,Rajvir Singh,Kuldeep Kumar Handoo and Mayanglambam Biramani Singh in the race for the Dronacharya award claim to have trained the same set of players Bimoljit Singh,Sudha Rani Devi and Sanathoi Devi who represented India in international meets. All their applications have been forwarded by the Wushu Association of India (WAI).
Sources said some members were inclined to give at least one award to the sport. But the idea was shelved following the different claims.
How can anybody decide if four coaches from a team sport claim credit for one medal? The only way to curb it is when federations start filtering applications at their end, said a member of the selection panel.
The Dronacharya award comes with a scroll of honour and a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh.
Meanwhile,the jury is reported to have voted in favour of Raj Singh,currently the Wrestling Federation of Indias secretary general and a former India international and coach,who had forwarded a letter of recommendation from two-time Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar. Raj Singh will thus become the sixth wrestling coach in four years to benefit from his association with Sushil Kumar.