Amit Panghal had lost in the second round of the Tokyo Olympics to Colombian Yuberten Martinez, after getting a bye in the first round. Apart from the shock exit from Tokyo 2020, Panghal had displayed supreme form and had won a silver in the 2019 Bowing World Championship as well.
Indian boxer Amit Panghal has applied for the Khel Ratna Award 2021, country's highest sporting honour, after the sports ministry relaxed a set of rules. The boxer's name was recommended by his employer Service Sports Control Board (SSCB). Panghal is a JCO in the Indian Army and has won a total of 16 medals in the last four years, and hence can be considered for the prestigious award.
Some of his biggest medals include gold at 2018 Asian Games, 2019 Asian Championships and 2020 Cologne World Cup; silver medals at 2018 Commonwealth Games (CWG), 2019 World Championships and 2021 Asian Championships, along with the bronze at 2020 Asian-Oceania Olympic Qualification Event.
Barring his failure at the Olympics, Panghal has accumulated the most number of points by any boxer -- 80 -- who have applied for either Khel Ratna or Arjuna Award.
"Subedar Amit, Vishisht Seva Medal, is strongly recommended for the Khel Ratna Award 2021 for displaying extreme passion, spartan discipline and superior sportsmanship. An outstanding, disciplined & deserving boxer for the Khel Ratna," the SSCB said according to a letter in the Times of India.
The selection committee deciding the awardees includes retired Supreme Court judge, Justice Mukundakum Sharma, and the finalised names will be sent to sports minister Anurag Thakur for approval. Back in 2020, India's highest sports honour was awarded to Rohit Sharma, double Paralympic medallist Mariyappan Thangavelu, paddler Manika Batra, wrestling star Vinesh Phogat hockey captain Rani Rampal.