Afternoon Voice

Asiad gold-medallist Amit Panghal nominated for Arjuna Award

Asian Games gold medal-winning Indian boxer Amit Panghal was Tuesday nominated for this year’s Arjuna awards by the Boxing Federation of India.

Amit, who claimed the light flyweight (49kg) category gold after defeating reigning Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan in the Asiad final, joined Sonia Lather and Gaurav Bidhuri in the list of boxing nominees for the second highest sporting honour after the Khel Ratna.

“I am honoured to be nominated, I can’t describe how happy I am. My medal is talking for me and that is what I have always wanted,” the 22-year-old Amit, only the eighth Indian boxer to claim an Asiad gold, told agencies.

He followed it up by making the quarters in just his debut World Championships, losing a close contest to Dusmatov in August.

Just about six months later, Amit went on to claim a gold medal in the India Open in Delhi and the prestigious Strandja Memorial Tournament in Bulgaria.

A silver medal in the Commonwealth Games put him in the big league before he outshone his teammates with a gold in the Asian Games in Jakarta.

“It has been a dream, I am still living it. Hopefully the Arjuna award will be the icing on the cake,” he said.

Among the boxing nominees, he faces competition from Sonia, a world and Asian silver-medallist and Bidhuri, only the fourth Indian boxer ever to get a World Championship medal.

The Delhi-boxer won a bronze in the showpiece event last year in Hamburg.

The National Sports Awards ceremony, held on August 29 every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand, will be organised on September 25 this year.