For the first time ever, the selection committee set up for the National Sports Awards has recommended a msssive five athletes for Rajiv Khel Ratna Award, the most prestigious award for an athlete in India.
The five athletes are ace Cricketer Rohit Sharma, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, table tennis player Manika Batra, para-high jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu and National Women’s Hockey Team captain Rani Rampal. With success in getting approval from the Government, this will be the first time five athletes get the prestigious honour simultaneously.
The Arjuna Award is also seeing a rise in recipients, with a total number of 27 talented athletes getting their moment of glory with the award. The awards will be given, following the tradition, on the ocassion of National Sports Day on August 29th. The traditional Presidential appearance where The Prez awards the athletes will be missing, as this year the ceremony will probably go the virtual route.
This was the first time when the athletes were given the opportunity to self-nominate themselves for the award. The result was a mammoth number of applications being sent to the commitee, where they sorted it out in a matter of a few days.
The case of two previous Rajiv Gandhi Khelratna awardees, Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu and wrestler Sakshi Malik, who nominated themselves for the Arjuna Award is awkward. The commitee did not recommend them in their list and left the matter at the discretion of Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, who did not consider them for the award.
The list of awardees are as follows:
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award: Rohit Sharma (Cricket), Mariyappan T. (Para Athletics), Manika Batra (Table Tennis), Vinesh Phogat (Wrestling), Ritu Rani (Hockey).
Arjuna Award: Atanu Das (Archery), Dutee Chand (Athletics), Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy (Badminton), Chirag Chandrasekhar Shetty (Badminton), Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (Basketball), Subedar Manish Kaushik (Boxing), Lovlina Borgohain (Boxing), Ishant Sharma (Cricket), Deepti Sharma (Cricket), Sawant Ajay Anant (Equestrian), Sandesh Jhingan (Football), Aditi Ashok (Golf), Akashdeep Singh (Hockey), Deepika (Hockey), Deepak (Kabaddi), Kale Sarika Sudhakar (Kho Kho), Dattu Baban Bhokanal (Rowing), Manu Bhaker (Shooting), Saurabh Chaudhary (Shooting), Madhurika Suhas Patkar (Table Tennis), Divij Sharan (Tennis), Shiva Keshavan (Winter Sports), Divya Kakran (Wrestling), Rahul Aware (Wrestling), Suyash Narayan Jadhav (Para Swimming), Sandeep Para (Athletics) Manish Narwal (Para Shooting).
Lifetime: Dharmendra Tiwary (Archery), Purushotham Rai (Athletics), Shiv Singh (Boxing), Romesh Pathania (Hockey), Krishan Kumar Hooda (Kabaddi), Vijay Bhalchandra Munishwar (Para Powerlifting), Naresh Kumar (Tennis), Om Parkash Dahiya (Wrestling).
Regular: Jude Felix Sebastian (Hockey), Yogesh Malviya (Mallakhamb), Jaspal Rana (Shooting), Kuldeep Kumar Handoo (Wushu), Gaurav Khanna (Para Badminton).
Dhyan Chand Award: Kuldip Singh Bhullar (Athletics), Jincy Philips (Athletics), Pradeep Shrikrishna Gandhe (Badminton), Trupti Murgunde (Badminton), N. Usha (Boxing), Lakha Singh (Boxing), Sukhvinder Singh Sandhu (Football), Ajit Singh (Hockey), Manpreet Singh (Kabaddi), J. Ranjith Kumar (Para Athletics), Satyaprakash Tiwari (Para Badminton), Manjeet Singh (Rowing), Late Shri Sachin Nag (Swimming), Nandan P Bal (Tennis), Netarpal Hooda (Wrestling).
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