India’s amazing and powerful show at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics resulted in an unprecedented level of competition for the Khel Ratna award which includes the champion javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and the selection committee has also named other 35 athletes for the Arjuna honor on Wednesday.
Apart from Neeraj Chopra who became only the second Indian to win an individual gold medal in Olympics the list also includes a silver medal-winning wrestler Ravi Dahiya the woman boxer who won a bronze. These players were recommended for the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award, which is also known as the country’s highest sporting honor.
The well-experienced hockey goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, and the captain of the women’s cricket team test and ODI, Mithali Raj were also selected along with the iconic Sunil Chhetri, who is fully ready to become the country’s first footballer to receive the honor.
All five players won gold medals in Tokyo Paralympics, Avani Lekhara in shooting, Manish Narwal in shooting, Sumit Antil in athletics. Pramod Bhagat in badminton and Krishna Nagar in badminton were rewarded for their performances as they also made the cut in the list which is now planned to be sent to the sports ministry for approval.
Boxer Lovlina Borgohain dedicated this recommendation for the highest country sporting honor Khel Ratna award to her parents. She said, “It’s one of the proudest days for me as an athlete to have been recommended for the Khel Ratna award. I would like to thank the honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi sir, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur sir, SAI, BFI coaches, and everyone who is part of my journey. I would like to dedicate this award to my parents. I will continue to work hard and my aim is to bring more laurels for my nation.”
This time in the Tokyo Olympics India sent its biggest continent as many as 121 athletes who presented their talents and as a result, the country has also achieved its best-ever show by winning 7 medals, which includes one gold, two silver, and four bronze. Out of those medallists, shuttler PV Sindhu, wrestler Bajrang Punia, and weightlifter, Mirabai Chanu has already been honored with the Khel Ratna award.
While talking about the Paralympics India won 19 medals which included 5 gold, 8 silver, and also 6 bronze medals.
Five athletes were chosen for the Khel Ratna award while 4 were selected after the 2016 Rio games last year. But India’s amazing performance at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 and also at the Paralympics has resulted in an unprecedented number of recommendations for such honorable awards. To consider the performances of para-athletes in Tokyo at the Paralympics, the announcement for the National sports award was delayed a bit, which was held from August 24th to September 5th.
In addition to this, the committee has also recommended 35 athletes for the Arjuna award, which is 8 more than last year’s picks. All the members of the men’s hockey team who won the bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 have been recommended for the Arjuna award. It’s a great thing for them and they deserve the honor as previously they have not won the award.
Other athletes who were recommended for the Arjuna award were women hockey team members are Vandana Katariya and Monika, the ones who were instrumental in the team’s brilliant performance at Tokyo Olympics, the first fencer from India to qualify for the Olympics: Bhavani Devi, boxer Simranjeet Kaur, pistol shooter Abhishek Verma, wrestler Deepak Punia, Kabaddi player Sandeep Narwal, women’s tennis player Ankita Raina, were included.
The Dronacharya award has been accorded to athletics coaches TP Ouseph and Radhakrishna Nair, hockey coach Sandeep Sangwan among others. The Khel Ratna award carries a prize purse of Rs 25 lakh and citation, and Arjuna award winners will get Rs 15 lakh each and a citation.