Poonia recommended for Rajiv Khel Ratna
New Delhi: Discus thrower Krishna Poonia, who won a historic gold in the Commonwealth Games last year, has been recommended for Rajiv Khel Ratna, the country`s highest sports award.
Poonia, who became the first Indian woman to win an individual gold in track and field events in the Commonwealth Games in October last year, has been recommended by Athletics Federation of India to the government.
"Krishna`s name has been recommended for Rajiv Khel Ratna by AFI to the Sports Ministry. She is the first Indian woman in athletics to win an individual gold in the Commonwealth Games. So we are hoping that she wins the award," Krishna`s husband Virender said from Patiala.
Poonia won the women`s discus throw gold with an effort of 61.51m at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here and broke a 52-year-old Commonwealth Games gold-medal jinx for India in athletics.
It was India`s first athletics gold after `Flying Sikh` Milkha Singh won the 440-yard race in the 1958 edition of the Games in Cardiff, Wales.
A month later, she won a bronze in the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.
Poonia recently returned to action in the Inter-State Championships after a six month lay-off following a knee injury she carried from Commonwealth Games.
Virender said she is undergoing training for next month`s Asian Championships.
"She is training now without pain on his left knee. She is looking forward to the Asian Championships in Japan and then she has World Championships in Korea," he said.
The Asian Championships will be held in Kobe, Japan from July 7-10 while the World Championships is scheduled in Daegu, South Korea from August 27?September 5.
Poonia, who has a personal best of 63.69m, has already cleared the `B` qualification standard of World Championships -- 59.50m -- though she is yet to clear the `A` standard of 62m.
Her 61.51m throw in the Commonwealth Games has ensured that she has crossed the `B` standard. The qualification period for the World Championships started last October.