Vinod, Yashvir elated at being recommended for top honour
New Delhi: A Khel Ratna, three Arjuna awards one Dhyanchand and a Dronacharya, it has been a windfall for the country`s wrestlers since their return from London Games and national coach Vinod Kumar feels the recognition will help in bringing back glory to the traditional sport.
Vinod Kumar`s name was proposed for Dhyanchand award while Yashvir Singh, the longtime coach of London Olympics silver medallist Sushil Kumar and bronze medal winner Yogeshwar Dutt, was recommended for the prestigious Dronacharya award on Tuesday.
"It is great to see the sport getting so much of recognition. These awards will not only motivate us to work for the betterment of wrestling but will also inspire the younger generation to take up the traditional sport," Vinod Kumar said.
While it was Sushil, who was awarded the country`s highest sporting honour -- Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna -- after winning a bronze at Beijing Games four years ago, it is Yogeshwar, who has been recommended for the coveted award this time.
Narsingh Pancham Yadav, Geeta Phogat and Ravinder Kumar are the other grapplers who were last week recommended for the Arjuna award.
"It is all possible because of the efforts of our boys who put their heart and soul out at the London Olympics and various other tournaments. It is their hard work and our faith in them which has yielded the result," Vinod Kumar insisted.
"I am really thankful to the people of my country and to my federation (Wrestling Federation of India) that has shown faith in me and entrusted me with the responsibility of training the likes of Sushil and Yogeshwar," he added.
Yashvir endorsed the views of his colleague, saying that it is boys who deserve the credit for this.
"To be very honest it is they who deserve all the accolades. It is their hard work and determination which has made the country recognise our effort," said Yashvir, who generally likes to keep a low profile.
Yashvir has treaded a long way with Sushil and was present with the grappler during his bronze medal exploits in Beijing.
"I was expecting the honour, but I never knew it will take so much of time. Anyway it is a great feeling. I am really thankful that they have recognised my contribution to the sport," said Yashvir, who won the FILA coach of the year award last year.