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Bizarre: Four coaches who claim to have trained 'same set of players' apply for Drona awards
New Delhi: In about two weeks from now, country will have its fresh set of recipients of Dronacharya and Arjuna awardees, and needless to say, the C-wing of Shastri Bhavan is a busy place.
However, in what comes as a bizarre development, 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.
Besides, a whopping 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.
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 India's 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.