The list of recommended sportspersons for this year’s Arjuna Awards has been finalised at the sports ministry’s selection committee meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday, a source within the committee has confirmed to PTI.
According to the source, the list of 29 athletes features including Indian cricketer Ishant Sharma, Kabaadi player Deepak Hooda, as well as recurve archer Atanu Das, Olympic bronze medallist wrestler Sakshi Malik, World Weightlifting Championship gold medallist Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, doubles tennis player Divij Sharan and Indian field hockey player Deepika Thakur. The full recommended list will be released on August 29th.
The veteran pacer Ishant Sharma is the only player of Team India to be named as one of the Arjuna Awards recommended yet. The 31 year old has made 97 Test, 80 ODI and 14 T20I appearances for the Men in Blue, and has secured 297, 115 and 8 wickets across all three formats respectively, adding up to over 400 international wickets.
Indian Kabaadi team captain Deepak Hooda has been recommended. The 26 year old was part of the Indian team that won gold at the 2016 South Asian Games, as well as gold at the 2016 world cup and 2018 Dubai Kabaddi Masters. Hooda has made appearances for every season of Pro kabaadi League, representing Telugu Titans, Puneri Paltan and Jaipur Pink Panthers.
Indian recurve archer Atanu Das is part of the recommended list. The 28 year old has won a silver at the World Archery Championships, as well as two silvers at the 2014 Archery World Cup.
2016 Summer Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik is also featured in the list. The 27 year old, who is a former Khel Ratna awardee for her triumph at Rio, has clinched silver at both Asian Wrestling Championships as well as Commonwealth Games.
A Padma Shri and Khel Ratna awardee, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu has tasted both gold and silver at the 2018 Gold Coast and 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth games respectively. She clinched gold again at the 2017 World Weightlifting Championships, competing in the women’s 48 kg event.
Indian doubles tennis player Divij Sharan is currently holds no. 56 in world doubles rankings. The 34 year old has won 5 doubles titles, and has reached a career highest doubles ranking of 36.
Field hockey player Deepika Thakur has represented India over 200 times. The veteran defender was part of the Indian team that won silver and bronze at the 2018 and 2014 Asian Games respectively. She also played at the 2006 and 2010 Hockey world cups.