Devendra Jhajharia
Devendra Jhajharia

Devendra Jhajharia, Sardar Singh chosen for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna 2017

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, August 22, 2017

Para athlete Devendra Jhajharia and former Indian hockey captain Sardar Singh have been chosen for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awards, the country's highest sporting honour as part of the National Sports Awards 2017 announced here today.
Jhajharia, 36, is a javelin thrower who had won gold medals at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens and at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. 
Sardar Singh, 31, became the youngest player to lead the Indian hockey team in the 2008 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament. He remained captain of the team till 2016. The Government had earlier honoured him with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, in 2015.
The Dronacharya Awards for coaches have been given this year to late Dr. R. Gandhi (Athletics), Heera Nand Kataria (Kabaddi), G.S.S.V. Prasad (Badminton -- Lifetime), Brij Bhushan Mohanty (Boxing -- Lifetime), P.A. Raphel (Hockey -- Lifetime), Sanjoy Chakraverthy (Shooting -- Lifetime) and Roshan Lal (Wrestling -- Lifetime).
As many as 17 players have been chosen for the prestigious Arjuna Awards 2017, including cricketers Cheteshwar Pujara and Harmanpreet Kaur.
The other Arjuna Award winners are: V.J. Surekha (Archery); Khushbir Kaur, Arokia Rajiv (Athletics); Prasanthi Singh (Basketball); Laishram Debendro Singh (Boxing); Oinam Bembem Devi (Football); S.S.P. Chawrasia (Golf); S.V. Sunil (Hockey); Jasvir Singh (Kabaddi); P. N. Prakash (Shooting); A. Amalraj (Table Tennis); Saketh Myneni (Tennis); Satyawart Kadian (Wrestling); and Mariyappan and Varun Singh Bhati (Para-Athletes).
The Dhyan Chand Award for lifetime contribution to sports development will go this year to Bhupender Singh (Athletics); Syed Shahid Hakim (Football) and Sumarai Tete (Hockey).
The awardees will receive their awards from the President of India at a function at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on August 29.
Apart from a medal and a citation, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardees will receive a cash prize of Rs. 7.5 lakh each. Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Awardees will received statuettes, certificates and cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh each, an official press release said.
National Sports Awards are given every year to recognize and reward excellence in sports. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is given for spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four year, Arjuna Award is given for consistently outstanding performance for four years, Dronacharya Award for coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious International sports events and Dhyan Chand Award for life time contribution to sports development.
The release said the Selection Committee for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Arjuna Awards was headed by Justice C.K. Thakkar (former Judge Supreme Court of India and former Chief Justice of High Court of Himachal and Bombay). The Selection Committee for Dronacharya Awards and Dhyan Chand Awards was headed by well-known badminton coach Pullela Gopichand.