First time in 44 years, sportspersons obtain nationwide honours just about


New Delhi, August 29

India’s sporting heroes have been bestowed the annual nationwide awards in an unparalleled on-line ceremony amid the COVID-19 pandemic throughout which athletes logged in from a number of cities to be honoured by President Ram Nath Kovind.

This yr a whopping 74 have been picked for the nationwide honours, together with an unprecedented 5 Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratnas and 27 Arjuna awardees. Of these, 60 attended the digital ceremony carried out throughout 11 Sports Authority of India (SAI) centres in varied cities.

Cricketers Rohit Sharma (Khel Ratna) and Ishant Sharma (Arjuna) missed the ceremony attributable to their IPL commitments within the UAE whereas star wrestler Vinesh Phogat (Khel Ratna) and badminton participant Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (Arjuna) needed to pull out of the ceremony after testing constructive for the dreaded virus.

The different three Khel Ratna winners — TT participant Manika Batra, Paralympic gold-medallist Mariyappan Thangavelu and ladies’s hockey captain Rani Rampal — attended the ceremony.


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While Batra logged in from Pune, Thangavelu and Rampal joined from the Bengaluru SAI centre.

President Kovind applauded as names of the attending awardees have been referred to as out and their achievements cited as is the conference. Missing, nonetheless, was the grandeur of the Rashtrapati Bhavan’s Durbar Hall.

“This is the first awards ceremony in COVID times during which the President has participated,” Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju stated in the beginning of the ceremony.

The athletes can look ahead to enhanced money awards this yr. The prize cash for the Khel Ratna was elevated to Rs 25 lakh from the earlier quantity of Rs 7.5 lakh this morning.

Arjuna awardees, 22 of who attended the ceremony, got Rs 15 lakh, which is Rs 10 lakh greater than the earlier sum.

The Dhronacharya (Lifetime) awardees, who have been earlier given Rs 5 lakh, have been awarded Rs 15 lakh, whereas the common Dhronacharya got here with Rs 10 lakh as an alternative of Rs 5 lakh per awardee.

Dhyanchand Awardees got Rs 10 lakh as an alternative of Rs 5 lakh.

The strict COVID-19 protocol meant that for the primary time in 44 years’ historical past of the awards, the winners, friends and dignitaries didn’t collect on the Durbar Hall to be recognised for his or her excellence.

The prime Arjuna awardees this yr included star sprinter Dutee Chand, girl cricketer Deepti Sharma, golfer Aditi Ashok and males’s hockey crew striker Akashdeep Singh.

The Dronacharya award within the life-time class was bestowed on eight coaches, the distinguished amongst them being archery coach Dharmendra Tiwary, Naresh Kumar (tennis), Shiv Singh (boxing) and Romesh Pathania (hockey).

In common class, there have been 5 recipients of the Dronacharya, together with hockey coach Jude Felix and taking pictures coach Jaspal Rana amongst others.

In a tragic flip of occasions of Friday, a Dronacharya (Lifetime) winner, athletics coach Purushottam Rai, died in Bengaluru after struggling a coronary heart assault.

The Dhyan Chand award this yr was given to 15 people, together with Sukhvinder Singh Sandhu (soccer), Trupti Murgunde (badminton) and Nandan Bal (tennis) amongst others.

Golfer Aditi Ashok and former footballer Sukhwinder Singh Sandhu didn’t attend the award operate as they’re overseas.

All well being and security protocols, holding with the rules of the Health Ministry, have been adopted on the venues the place dignitaries and awardees have been current.

In reality, awardees have been seen clad in PPE kits as they made their approach to the ceremony venues.

As per the course of the Sports Ministry, each award winner needed to endure a COVID-19 take a look at earlier than reporting to the venue.

National Sports Award winners

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award: Rohit Sharma (Cricket), Mariyappan Thangavelu (Para-Athletics), Manika Batra (Table Tennis), Vinesh Phogat (Wrestling), Rani Rampal (Hockey).

Arjuna Award: Atanu Das (Archery), Dutee Chand (Athletics), Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy (Badminton), Chirag Chandrasekhar Shetty (Badminton), Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (Basketball), Manish Kaushik (Boxing), Lovlina Borgohain (Boxing), Ishant Sharma (Cricket), Deepti Sharma (Cricket), Sawant Ajay Anant (Equestrian), Sandesh Jhingan (Football), Aditi Ashok (Golf), Akashdeep Singh (Hockey), Deepika (Hockey), Deepak (Kabaddi), Kale Sarika Sudhakar (Kho Kho), Dattu Baban Bhokanal (Rowing), Manu Bhaker (Shooting), Saurabh Chaudhary (Shooting), Madhurika Patkar (Table Tennis), Divij Sharan (Tennis), Shiva Keshavan (Winter Sports), Divya Kakran (Wrestling), Rahul Aware (Wrestling), Suyash Narayan Jadhav (Para-Swimming), Sandeep (Para-Athletics), Manish Narwal (Para Shooting).

Dronacharya Award (Lifetime class): Dharmendra Tiwary (Archery), Purushotham Rai (Athletics), Shiv Singh (Boxing), Romesh Pathania (Hockey), Krishan Kumar Hooda (Kabaddi), Vijay Bhalchandra Munishwar (Para Powerlifting), Naresh Kumar (Tennis), Om Parkash Dahiya (Wrestling).

Regular class: Jude Felix (Hockey), Yogesh Malviya (Mallakhamb), Jaspal Rana (Shooting), Kuldeep Kumar Handoo (Wushu), Gaurav Khanna (Para Badminton).

Dhyan Chand Award: Kuldip Singh Bhullar (Athletics), Jincy Philips (Athletics), Pradeep Shrikrishna Gandhe (Badminton), Trupti Murgunde (Badminton), N Usha(Boxing), Lakha Singh (Boxing), Sukhvinder Singh Sandhu (Football), Ajit Singh (Hockey), Manpreet Singh (Kabaddi), J Ranjith Kumar (Para-Athletics), Satyaprakash Tiwari (Para Badminton), Manjeet Singh (Rowing), Late Shri Sachin Nag (Swimming), Nandan Bal (Tennis), Netarpal Hooda (Wrestling).

Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards: Anita Devi (Land Adventure), Col Sarfraz Singh (Land Adventure), Taka Tamut (Land Adventure), Narender Singh (Land Adventure), Keval Hiren Kakka (Land Adventure), Satendra Singh (Water Adventure), Gajanand Yadava (Air Adventure), Late Magan Bissa (Life Time Achievement).

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy: Panjab University, Chandigarh

Identification and Nurturing of Budding and Young Talent: Lakshya Institute, Army Sports Institute.

Encouragement to sports activities by means of Corporate Social Responsibility: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Limited.

Employment of sportspersons and sports activities welfare measures: Air Force Sports Control Board.

Sports for Development: International Institute of Sports Management (IISM). PTI



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