The Asian Games bronze medalist Ankita Raina and Prajnesh Gunneswaran both are nominated for the prestigious Arjuna Award by the national tennis federation, which has also sent names of Balram Singh and Enrico Piperno for the Dhyanchand honour. Both Ankita Raina and Prajnesh won singles bronze medals at the 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta and Palembang.
Raina is known as India’s best singles and doubles women tennis player and is set to make his Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games next month. All Indian Tennis Association (AITA) informed PTI, “This year we have nominated Ankita and Prajnesh for Arjuna while the names of very respected Balram sir and Enrico Piperno have been sent for lifetime achievement honour, Dhyanchand.”
Ankita Raina had been nominated for the Arjuna Award last year also but Asian Games gold medalist Divij Sharan succeeded in receiving that Award. On the other hand, Prajnesh had not lost five crucial years to knee stress fractures, his career would have been an altogether different story.
Balram Singh had coached the Indian team for Davis Cup in 1989 and 1990. He reached the junior Wimbledon and junior US Open quarterfinals in 1966. Last year, former Davis Cup coach Nandan Bal had won the Dhyanchand Award. But this time, Balram Singh and Enrico Piperno are nominated for Dhyanchnad Award. On another side, Ankita Raina and Prajnesh Gunneswaran are nominated for Arjuna Award.