New Delhi, Aug 19: Cricketer Rohit Sharma, women's hockey captain Rani Rampal and wrestler Vinesh Phogat are among the five players who have been recommended for the sports highest honour, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. Meanwhile, for Arjuna Award 29 sportsperson were recommended for the Arjuna award by the sports ministry's selection committee on Tuesday.
The 12-member committee also recommended paddler Manika Batra and Rio Paralympic gold-winning high jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu for the country's highest sporting honour. Rampal was a late addition to the initial list of four.
Rohit has displayed amazing performance with his bat especially in the ICC World Cup 2019 scripting a record while Vinesh has won gold medals in the 2018 Commonwealth and Asian Games along with a bronze in the 2019 Asian Wrestling Championships
On the other hand, Thangavelu earned a gold medal in the 2016 Rio Paralympics in the T42 high jump category. T42 applies to athletes with single above the knee amputations or a disability that is comparable.Meanwhile due to her remarkable performance in 2018, paddler Manika in which she won the Commonwealth Games gold medal and Asian Games bronze in women's singles.
Rani is the lone female hockey player to have been recommended for the honour who has led her team to help in India's qualification for the Tokyo Olympics. Due to her captaincy, the team also climbed to a career-best FIH World Ranking of No.9. She was also the first from India to be named as the World Games Athlete of The Year 2019. Before Rani, only Dhanraj Pillay (2000) and Sardar Singh (2017) won the prestigious award. Sardar, incidentally, was a part of the 12-member selection committee this year.
This is the first time in the history of awards that five athletes have been recommended with the final decision resting on sports minister Kiren Rijiju. In 2016, four athletes — star shuttler P V Sindhu, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, shooter Jitu Rai, and wrestler Sakshi Malik — were collectively given this award. Rohit Sharma will be the fourth cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar, former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and current skipper Virat Kohli to be awarded the Khel Ratna.
29 August is celebrated as the National Sports Day to commemorate the birth anniversary of hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand. The Khel Ratna comprises a medallion, a certificate, and a cash prize of Rs 7.5 lakh. The Arjuna award comes with a cash prize of Rs 5,00,000, a bronze statue of mythological hero Arjuna and a scroll. The National Sports Awards also include the Dronacharya and the Dhyan Chand honours for achievements in coaching. They are conferred every year by the President of India.
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award: Rohit Sharma (cricket), Vinesh Phogat (wrestling), Manika Batra (table tennis), Rani Rampal (hockey).
Arjuna Award: Ishant Sharma (cricket), Atanu Das (archery), Deepak Hooda (kabaddi), Deepika Thakur (hockey), Divij Sharan (tennis), Mirabai Chanu (weightlifting), Sakshi Malik (wrestling), Akashdeep Singh (hockey), Lovlina Borgohain (boxing), Manu Bhaker (shooting), Saurabh Chaudhary (shooting), Manish Kaushik (boxing), Sandesh Jhinghan (football), Dattu Bhokanal (rowing), Rahul Aware (wrestling), Dutee Chand (athletics), Deepti Sharma (cricket), Shiva Keshavan (winter sports), Madhurike Patkar (table tennis), Manish Narwal (para shooter), Sandeep Chaudhary (parathlete), Suyash Jadhav (para swimmer), Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (badminton), Vishesh Bharguvanshi (basketball), Ajay Sawant (tent pegging), Aditi Ashok (golf), Kale Sarika (kho kho), Divya Kakran (wrestling).
Dronacharya Lifetime award, eight names have been recommended and they are as follows: Dharmendra Tiwary (archery), Pursohattam Rai (athletics), Shiv Singh (women's boxing), Romesh Pathania (men's hockey), KK Hooda (kabaddi), Vijay Munishwar (para powerlifting), Naresh Kumar (tennis), and O P Dahiya (wrestling).
Dronacharya award, five names have been put forward: Yogesh Malviya (Mallakhamb), Gaurav Khanna (para-badminton), Jaspal Rana (shooting), Kuldeep Handoo (wushu) and Jude Felix (hockey).
For Dhyan Chand award, there are fifteen names which have been recommended: Jincy Philips (athletics), Kuldeep Singh Bhullar (athletics), Trupti Murgunde (badminton), Pradeep Gandhe (badminton), N Usha (boxing), Lakha Singh (boxing), Sukhwinder Singh Sandhu (football), Ajeet Singh (hockey), Manpreet Singh (kabaddi), Manjeet Singh (rowing), Late Sachin Nag (swimming), Nandan Bal (tennis), Netar Pal Hooda (wrestling) and J Ranjit Kumar (para-athletics)
Know more about these 5 Khel Ratna Award Nominees this year and why they deserve it!