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Girisha spanner, Sania Mirza’s Khel Ratna on hold

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Aug 27, 2015, 8:46 am IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 1:35 am IST
Paralympian from Karnataka approaches High Court; notices issued to Sports Ministry
Sania Mirza
 Sania Mirza

Bengaluru: In what will come as a huge disappointment, Sania Mirza’s deserving coronation with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award has been put on hold after the Karnataka High Court heard paralympian H.N. Girisha’s petition challenging Sania’s nomination.

Girisha, who won a silver at the London Paralympics in 2012, is the recipient of Arjuna and Padmashri awards as is the case with Sania. But over the past 18 months, the 28-year-old Sania’s career graph has touched unparalleled heights with the Hyderabadi vaulting to the top of the world rankings in doubles.

 

The tennis ace, in the midst of her US Open preparations, had come down to India to personally receive the highest sporting award, set to be given away by the President on Aug. 29 but Girisha’s petition has put her training and plans for the season's final Grand Slam - slated to begin from Monday - in total disarray.

Justice A.S. Bopanna, who heard the petition, directed the respondents to reply to the notices within 15 days. The tennis player’s hopes of the award will be on the back burner for now as she awaits the court's directive. Girisha’s contention, having also bagged a bronze at the Asian Paralympics at Incheon last year, is that he is a top contender.

 

“I deserve to win Khel Ratna award given to sportspersons. I am a top contender as I garnered 90 points as against Sania, who is not anywhere near the top contenders’ list. The award is given to sportspersons based on the performance-based points system,” said Girisha.

“I understand Sania has won Grand Slam titles but according to ministry notification, only performances at the Olympics, Paralympics, Asiad, Commonwealth Games and World Championships from 2011 will be considered," he said.

While it is true that Sania, as an individual athlete, may not have as many points in multi-discipline events, it is unfathomable not to consider her Grand Slam performances, which is the pinnacle in the sport of tennis, experts said.

 

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Location: Karnataka




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