BHUBANESWAR: Odisha’s ace para-badminton player Pramod Bhagat has been nominated for the Arjuna Award 2019. The 31-year-old shuttler tops in world ranking with 4950 points. He will be the eighth Arjuna awardee from the State. The son of late Kailash Bhagat and Kusum Devi of Atabira in Baragarh district, Pramod was fascinated towards badminton since childhood.
He used to play with normal players and was introduced to the para-badminton in 2006. Though he had almost decided to give up his pursuit for the world championship in 2011 due to severe financial crisis, he continued to play against all odds. He has already 37 international medals with 17 gold, 7 silver and 13 bronze under his belt. He has also 46 national medals including 30 gold, 14 silver and two bronze to his credit.
In 2019, Pramod has already won five international titles in six tournaments he participated. He won gold medal in the World Games 2019, Turkey 2019, Dubai 2019, Uganda 2019 and Ireland 2019.
Congratulating Pramod, his coach Siba Prasad Das said, “Pramod has created a history for Odisha para-athletics and made the State and country proud. Para-badminton will be included in the coming Olympics for the first time and Bhagat is expected to win a medal for the country”.
Presently, Pramod is on his way to participate in the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships 2019 to be held at Basel in Switzerland from August 20 to 25. Para-badminton players from around 50 countries are participating in the championship.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik congratulated Pramod for the Arjuna award and said he will remain an inspiration for the youths. Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan wished him good luck in future games.