New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANS) His hard work over the years has finally paid off as he was nominated for the prestigious Arjuna Award, something he had waited for, for years. However, the dedicated shuttler has no time to celebrate as he is spearheading India’s challenge at the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships in Basel, Switzerland.
The championships started with the round-robin matches on Tuesday.
“It’s a mixed feeling. I am very excited and happy. For every Indian sportsperson, it’s a dream to win the National Award. But now that I am playing at the World Championships, I want to keep my focus and play well. The party can wait,” Bhagat was quoted as saying by the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI).
“But the Arjuna Award has come at the right time, giving a big boost to the preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
“Also I feel recognition is important to inspire the youngsters. The award will motivate young para-badminton players to pursue the sport. My main target, for now, is to gain the qualification points and maintain the lead,” the Asian Para Games 2018 gold medallist added.
Bhagat will become the fourth Para-Badminton player to get an Arjuna award after former world champions Parul Parmer, Raj Kumar and Manoj Sarkar who received the honor in the past years. He will receive the award along with 18 others who include para-athlete Sundar Singh Gurjar and cricketer Ravindra Jadeja.
Bhagat already has eight gold medals (five singles and three doubles) this year itself from six tournaments – World Games 2019, Turkey 2019, Dubai 2019, Uganda 2019, Canada 2019 and Ireland 2019.
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