New Delhi: India's most decorated wrestling coach Satpal was on Sunday ecstatic after he was named for Padma Bhusan award as he dedicated the award to "all his students" without whom it wouldn't have been possible for him to get country's third highest civilian award.
"I am extremely happy and deeply honoured to get this award. I can't express my feelings in words. It's a recognition for my services to the nation as a player and then as a coach," the 1982 Asian Games gold medallist and father-in-law of India's most successful individual Olympian Sushil Kumar told PTI today.
He has been associated with producing top notch wrestlers including Sushil, another Olympic medallist Yogeshwar Dutt, Amit Kumar and bajrang to name a few.
"All my students are also very happy and they have started celebrating. It's because of them that I have got this honour. Would like to thank them all including Sushil, Yogeshwar,
Amit, Bajrang and so many others," said satpal, who was conferred with the title of 'Mahabali' during his grappling days. However he did feel bad for his son-in-law Sushil being ignored for the award.
"Had Sushil also got it, it would have been an icing on the cake. But Government has its own policy, so I don't want to go further into it,"teered clear of making any controversial statement.
India's hockey captain Sardara Singh was expectedly happy after receiving Padma Shri. "It is surely bigger than the Arjuna award that I got in 2012. Awards like these motivate a lot and changes your mentality. It encourages you to not to be satisfied and keep pushing for more," Sardara told PTI today.
"Also I feel one should not ask for awards," Sardara's last statement was certainly a dig at Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal although he did express his surprise at shuttler's omission from the list.
"If you are deserving, the panel will look into your case and give you one. Also surprised that Sushil and Saina's name is not in the list. I also want to thank Sachin Tendulkar, who always told me not to worry about awards and focus on performance. He was the first to congratulate me," the hockey captain said.