Indian wrestler Sakshi Malik, who has been nominated for Khel Ratna Award, said on Saturday that she is thrilled beyond words to join the ranks of greats like Sachin Tendulkar and Leander Paes. The grappler also added that she is honoured to be recommended for the prestigious award.
Sakshi Malik had ended India’s medal-less run at the Rio Olympics last Wednesday after defeating Kyrgyzstan's Aisuluu Tynybekova in the bronze-medal match in the women’s 58 kg freestyle category. After her heroics at Rio, the 23-year-old was recommended for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, and speaking about the award, Sakshi said that she is thrilled to join the ranks of greats like Sachin Tendulkar and Leander Paes.
“I am really honoured to be considered for this award. I had expected an Arjun award after my achievement, but to get recommended for a Khel Ratna straight away is just fantastic news. When I was a child I use to hear the names of Sachin Tendulkar and Leander Paes being bestowed with the honour and I would wonder if I would ever be in their place and make my country proud. Now that the moment has come, I’m thrilled that I’m joining the ranks of the greats,” Sakshi said, reported ANI.
Cash awards have also been flowing towards the 23-year-old after her achievement, and with Sakshi belonging to Rohtak, the Haryana State government has announced a cash award of Rs. 2.5 crore. Sakshi Malik’s current employer, Indian Railways, had also announced Rs.60 lakhs as cash award for the wrestler.
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