The Bridge Federation of India (BFI) has nominated 2018 Asian Games gold medal winners Pranab Bardhan and Shibnath Sarkar for this years Arjuna award.
“We have forwarded these two names to the sports ministry for the Arjuna award,” BFI general secretary Anand (KS) Samant told IANS on Wednesday.
“We have made an online application as physically it is not possible to make an application now due to the current situation,” he added.
Bridge was played as a medal event for the first time at the 2018 Asian Games held in Indonesia, and Samant said it helped them to nominate the duo’s name for the prestigious award as any discipline has to be part of either Asian Games or Commonwealth Games to be listed as a priority sport.
“That’s why bridge was not eligible in the past,” he said.
Bardhan and Sarkar won India’s only gold medal, in the men’s doubles category. They are also the first bridge players to be recommended for the award.
Due to the current situation owing to COVID-19 pandemic, all official competitions under the banner of BFI or state associations scheduled for 2020 have been postponed or called off.
Bridge has not been played at the Olympic or Commonwealth Games yet. The World Bridge Federation is recognised by the International Olympic Committee.