Neeraj Chopra
Neeraj ChopraIANS (File photo)

Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra among 12 chosen for Khel Ratna 2021

New Delhi, November 2, 2021

Neeraj Chopra, who won the gold medal in javelin throw at the Tokyo Olympics, silver medalist wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya and bronze medalist boxer Lovlina Borgohain were among the twelve sportspersons chosen for the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna -- India's highest sporting honour -- as part of the National Sports Awards 2021 announced by the Government here today.

The others chosen for the Khel Ratna include hockey captain Manpreet Singh and goalkeeper P R Sreejesh, cricketer Mithali Raju, football skipper Sunil Chhetri and Paralympic Games medalists Avani Lekhara, Pramod Bhagat, Krishna Naar, Sumit Antil and Manish Narwal.

As many as 35 sportspersons have been chosen for the prestigious Arjuna Awards for their outstanding performance in various sports, including cricketer Shikhar Dhawan, boxer Simranjit Kaur, athlete Arpinder Singh, fencer Bhavani Devi, tennis player Ankita Rana, shooter Abhishek Verma and wrestler Deepak Punia.

They also include men's hockey players Dilpreet Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Surender Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Birendra Lakra, Sumit, Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Shamsher Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Varun Kumar and Simranjeet Singh.

Women's hockey players Monika and Vandana Katariya as well as Sandeep Narwal (Kabaddi), Himami Uttam Parab (Mallakhamb), Yogesh Kathuniya, Nishad Kumar, Praveen Kumar and Sharad Kumar (Para-Athletics), Suhas Yathiraj (Para Badminton), Singhraj Adhana (Para Shooting), Bhavina Patel (Para Table Tennis) and Harvinder Singh (Para Archery) also figured in the Arjuna Awardees.

The Dronacharya Award for outstanding coaches went to T P Ouseph (Athletics), Sarkar Talwar (Cricket), Sarpal Singh (Hockey), Ashan Kumar (Kabaddi) and Tapan Kumar Panigrahi (Swimming) in the Lifetime category and to Radhakrishnan Nair P (Athletics), Sandhya Gurung (Boxing), Pritam Siwach (Hockey), Jai Prakash Nautiyal (Para Shooting) and Subramanian Raman (Table Tennis).

The Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime achievement in Sports and Games 2021 will be conferred on Lekha K. C. (Boxing), Abijeet Kunte (Chess), Davinder Singh Garcha (Hockey), Vikas Kumar (Kabaddi) and Sajjan Singh (Wrestling).

The Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar 2021 will go to Manav Rachna Educational Institution (Identification and Nurturing of Budding and Young Talent) and Indian Oil Corporation (Encouragement to sports through Corporate Social Responsibility).

Panjab University has won the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2021.

The awardees will receive their awards from the President of India at a function in Darbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan on November 13.

The National Sports Awards are given every year to recognize and reward excellence in sports.

The Khel Ratna Award is given for the spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of previous four years.

The Arjuna Award is given for good performance over a period of previous four years and showing qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline.

Dronacharya Award is given to coaches for doing outstanding and meritorious work on a consistent basis and enabling sportspersons to excel in International events.

Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement is given to honour sportspersons who have contributed to sports by their performance and continue to contribute to promotion of sports even after their retirement.

Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar is given to corporate entities (both in private and public sector), sports control boards, NGOs including sports bodies at the State and National level who have played a visible role in the area of sports promotion and development.

Overall top performing university in inter-university tournaments is given the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy.

The awards were recommended by a selection committee headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice (Retd) Mukundakam Sharma) and conssisting of eminent sportspersons and others including sports journalists and administrators.


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