India's lone Olympic individual gold medallist Abhinav Bindra on Saturday criticised the selection panel for not nominating seasoned coach Jaspal Rana for the Dronacharya Award. Rana, himself a multiple Asian Games gold-medallist marksman, has groomed the likes of teen sensations Manu Bhaker, Saurabh Chaudhary and Anish Bhanwala into world class shooters, and Bindra said his wards should prove the selection committee wrong with their performance in next year's Tokyo Olympics.
"I can attribute much of my success to having wonderful coaches. @jaspalrana2806 has earned my respect as one of the best & it is disappointing to see him overlooked for the Dronacharya," Bindra tweeted. "Hope this gives his wards the impetus to train harder & prove the committee wrong at Tokyo2020," said Bindra, who won a 10m air rifle gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Rana, on his part, thanked Bindra for his support and said he was not trying to prove himself to anyone. "Thanks @Abhinav_Bindra your words are more important for me. But I am not trying to prove myself to anyone," he tweeted.
The selection panel nominted Vimal Kumar (badminton), Sandeep Gupta (table tennis) and Mohinder Singh Dhillon (athletics) for the Dronacharya Award regular category while Mezban Patel (hockey), Rambir Singh Khokar (kabaddi), Sanjay Bhardwaj (cricket) were picked for the Dronacharya Award in the lifetime category.
Dronacharya Awards are given to honour eminent coaches who have successfully trained sportspersons or teams and enabled them to achieve outstanding results in international competitions. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh.