New Delhi, November 13 (IANS) | Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra, Paralympic gold medalist Sumit Antil and women’s cricketer Mithali Raj among nine others were honored with the country’s highest sporting honour, the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna, at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here on Saturday. At the same time, 35 athletes were awarded the Arjuna Award. Chopra, the Olympic gold medalist and the Paralympic hero, was presented with the Khel Ratna award in the presence of President Ram Nath Kovind, several ministers and dignitaries with loud applause.
A large number of names were named for these awards this year, which were decided by a selection committee headed by (retired) Justice Mukundakam Sharma earlier this month.Twelve players got Khel Ratna, Neeraj (Athletics), Ravi Dahiya (Wrestling), Lovlina Borgohain (Boxing), PR Sreejesh (Hockey), Avani Lekhara (Para-shooting), Anthel (Para-Athletics), Pramod Bhagat (Para) – Badminton), Krishna Nagar (Para-Badminton), Manish Narwal (Para-shooting), Mithali Raj (Cricket), Sunil Chhetri (Football), and Manpreet Singh (Hockey).
Meanwhile, Tokyo 2020 Paralympic gold medalist Krishna Nagar did not attend the award ceremony. Because such things were coming to the fore that his mother passed away on Friday and hence he could not attend the function.At the ceremony, all members of the men’s hockey team that won India a historic bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after 41 years were honored with the Arjuna Award, except Sreejesh and Manpreet, both of whom have already received it.
Arpinder Singh, Simranjit Kaur, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhavani Devi, Monica Devi, Vandana Kataria, Sandeep Narwal, Himani Uttam Parab, Abhishek Verma, Ankita Raina, Deepak Punia, Dilpreet Singh, Harman Preet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh are among the athletes who received the Arjuna Award. , Surendra Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Birender Lakra, Sumit, Neelkant Sharma, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Shamsher Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Varun Kumar, Simranjit Singh, Yogesh Kathunia, Nishad Kumar, Praveen Kumar, Suhas Yathiraj, Singhraj Adhana, Bhavna Patel, Harvinder Singh and Sharad Kumar.
Dronacharya Award for Life Time Category was also presented on the occasion. It was given to the coaches TP Ousef (Athletics), Sarkar Talwar (Cricket), Sarpal Singh (Hockey), Ashan Kumar (Kabaddi) and Tapan Kumar Panigrahi (Swimming).In the Dronacharya regular category, Radhakrishnan Nair P (athletics), Sandhya Gurung (boxing), Pritam Siwach (hockey), Jai Prakash Nautiyal (para-shooting) and Subramaniam Raman (table tennis) were awarded.The Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement was given to Athlete Lekha KC, Chess Grandmaster Abhijit Kunte, Davinder Singh Garcha (Hockey), Vikas Kumar (Kabaddi) and Sajjan Singh (Wrestling). Panjab University (Chandigarh) received the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAMA) Trophy for 2021.India created history by winning seven medals at the Tokyo Olympics and at the Tokyo Paralympics, Indian athletes put up a stellar performance with 19 medals, including five gold, eight silver and six bronze.