NEW DELHI: Former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia, who has been a part of the National Sports Committee, on Tuesday said Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Neeraj Chopra deserves the Khel Ratna Award this year.
Neeraj Chopra had won the first gold medal for India in track and field events this year at the Olympics after throwing the javelin for a distance of 87.58m.
“This time the committee will have to face a challenge because there are many players who are deserving for awards, not this time, every time the election committee faces challenges. But this time task will be harder as we have a lot of medallists and in my opinion, the Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award will go to Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra as he brought India its first gold in track and field events at the Olympics,” Bhutia told ANI.
Talking about SAI’s 55th Governing Body Meeting, Bhutia said: “It was a very good meeting and Sports Minister Anurag Thakur has good knowledge about sports. The meeting was very productive. We discussed many points in the meeting and we will also focus on how to develop a sports culture in the country and look to develop more coaches at the grassroots level, we discussed we have to look after and manage our grounds, not stadiums because grounds produce many sportspeople and we also need to ensure that we appoint more officers who are responsible for scouting talent from small places of the country.”
When asked about Indian football, Bhutia said: “There should be long term planning. Lately, we have not been able to do well, it will take time.”
Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur on Tuesday announced that sports science and performance management systems in the Sports Authority of India (SAI) will be restructured. The decision has been taken so that the country can have even better results in the Olympics.
“I’m happy to announce the restructuring of sports science and performance management systems in SAI towards better results in Olympics. Over 300 sports science specialists and high-performance coaches, analysts and other personnel to be hired towards targetted results,” tweeted Thakur. (ANI)