New Delhi. 11 players including javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and silver-winning wrestler Ravi Dahiya, who created history by winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics, have been selected for the country’s top sporting honour, the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, while 35 players, including cricketer Shikhar Dhawan, have been awarded the Arjuna Award. has been selected for.
The National Sports Awards are presented by the President every year on 29th August, the birthday of Major Dhyan Chand, but this time due to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics being around the same time, the award has been delayed.
Players selected for Khel Ratna include Neeraj Chopra, Ravi Dahiya, hockey goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, football captain Sunil Chhetri, women’s cricketer Mithali Raj, women’s boxer Lovlina Borgohain, para badminton players Pramod Bhagat, Sumit Antil, Avani Lekhra, Krishna Nagar and Manish. Contains narwhals.
The 35 players selected for the Arjuna Award include all members of the Indian men’s hockey team that won the historic bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics after 41 years who have not won the award before and all Paralympic medalists. The National Sports Awards Committee has recommended the names of these 35 players to the government.
The Khel Ratna Award was earlier known as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award but the government amended it this year to name the award as Khel Ratna. The award carries a prize money of Rs 25 lakh.
Last year, five sportspersons were given the Khel Ratna award but due to the historic performance of Indian players in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the number has reached 11 this time. Neeraj won the gold medal in Tokyo by throwing a distance of 87.58 meters. He became the first Indian athlete to win an Olympic medal in athletics.
The selection committee has recommended 35 names for the Arjuna Award this time, which is eight more than last year. These names also include the name of left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan, who is not included in the Indian squad for the ongoing T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.