Rohit, Vinesh, Rani amongst unprecedented 5 for Khel Ratna


New Delhi, August 18

Star cricketer Rohit Sharma, wrestler Vinesh Phogat and girls’s hockey crew captain Rani Rampal are amongst an unprecedented 5 picked for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, whereas one other unparalleled 29 have been beneficial for the Arjuna award by the Sports Ministry’s choice committee right here on Tuesday.

Paddler Manika Batra and Rio Paralympic gold-winning excessive jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu have been the opposite two beneficial for the nation’s highest sporting honour by a 12-member choice committee. Rani Rampal was a late addition to the preliminary record of 4.

For the Arjuna, India pacer Ishant Sharma, recurve archer Atanu Das, ladies’s hockey crew participant Deepika Thakur, kabaddi participant Deepak Hooda, and tennis participant Divij Sharan have been among the many 29 short-listed athletes, mentioned an official supply after the choice committee’s assembly.

The 31-year-old Ishant has performed 97 Tests and 80 ODIs for India, grabbing over 400 worldwide wickets.

This is the primary time within the historical past of awards that 5 athletes have been beneficial for the highest sporting accolade with the ultimate determination resting on Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju.

In 2016, 4 athletes – star shuttler PV Sindhu, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, shooter Jitu Rai and wrestler Sakshi Malik – have been collectively given the award.

The 33-year-old Rohit will solely be the fourth cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar, just-retired Mahendra Singh Dhoni and present skipper Virat Kohli to be conferred with the Khel Ratna.

Tendulkar was the primary Indian cricketer to get the honour in 1998, adopted by Dhoni in 2007 and Kohli in 2018. Kohli gained it collectively with weightlifter Mirabai Chanu.

The committee, comprising the likes of Virender Sehwag and former hockey captain Sardar Singh, met on the Sports Authority of India (SAI) headquarters right here and finalised the names after deliberations that took up within the first half of the day.

While Rohit has been recognised for his ever-rising accomplishments with the bat, Vinesh has been rewarded for her gold medals within the 2018 Commonwealth and Asian Games apart from a bronze within the 2019 Asian Wrestling Championships.

Terming it as one of many greatest moments of her profession, Vinesh promised to reside as much as the expectations related to the award.

“It’s a proud moment for me. It was a long wait but it was worthwhile. If God permits, I would live up to the reputation associated with this award,” mentioned Vinesh.

Thangavelu obtained the popularity for his gold medal within the 2016 Rio Paralympics within the T42 excessive bounce class. The T42 class applies to athletes with single above the knee amputations or a incapacity that’s comparable.

Star paddler Manika was beneficial for her outstanding efficiency in 2018, a 12 months throughout which she gained the Commonwealth Games gold medal and Asian Games bronze in ladies’s singles.

Rani is simply the third and lone feminine hockey participant to have been beneficial for the honour.

Before Rani, solely Dhanraj Pillay (2000) and Sardar Singh (2017) gained the celebrated award. Sardar, by the way, was part of the 12-member choice committee this 12 months.

“Rani’s name was a late inclusion after some members wanted a discussion on her nomination. After due deliberation, everyone felt that she deserves the recognition for her achievements,” mentioned a supply near the event.

The interval of consideration for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award – India’s highest sporting honour – is between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2019.

During this era, Rani led the crew to historic victories within the Women’s Asia Cup in 2017, silver on the 2018 Asian Games and performed a important position within the FIH Olympic Qualifiers in 2019 by scoring the deciding aim that helped India qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

The crew additionally climbed to a career-best ninth within the FIH world rankings.

In a primary, this 12 months’s National Sports Awards ceremony, which is generally held on the Rashtrapati Bhavan, is more likely to be carried out nearly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with all of the winners logging in from their respective locations to listen to their names being introduced on August 29.

August 29 is widely known as National Sports Day to commemorate the delivery anniversary of hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand.

The Khel Ratna includes a medallion, a certificates, and a money prize of Rs 7.5 lakh.

The Arjuna award comes with a money prize of Rs 5 lakh, a bronze statue of mythological hero Arjuna and a scroll.

The National Sports Awards additionally embrace the Dronacharya and the Dhyan Chand honours for achievements in teaching. They are conferred yearly by the President of India. PTI



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