New Delhi: PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Dipa Karmakar along with the expert shooter Jitu Rai were conferred with the highly ranked Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award on Tuesday. The awardees got their awards from the President of India Pranab Mukherjee at an outstandingly organized function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
PV Sindhu made history at the recently concluded Rio Olympics where she became the first Indian to win a silver medal in badminton. Sakshi Malik, then again, becomes India’s first woman to win a medal in wrestling at the prominent Games. Although not winning a medal, Dipa Karmakar was the talk of the town as she completed the ‘Produnova’ act to perfection.
Moreover, the Ministry also selected 15 athletes for this year’s Arjuna Award. The famous names were boxer Shiva Thapa, long distance runner Lalita Babar, cricketer Ajinkya Rahane, hockey players VR Raghunath and Rani Rampal among others.
This year’s Dronacharya Award was conferred upon six coaches, the most prominent among being Dipa’s coach Bishweshwar Nandi and India Test team captain Virat Kohli’s mentor Raj Kumar Sharma.
Along with Nandi, others who were honoured with the Dhronacharya Award are Nagapuri Ramesh (athletics), Sagar Mal Dhayal (boxing), Pradeep Kumar (swimming, lifetime) and Mahabir Singh (wrestling, lifetime). The Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Satti Geetha (athletics), Sylvanus Dung Dung (hockey) and Rajendra Pralhad Shelke (rowing).
The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is given for magnificent and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years. Apart from a medal and a citation, the Khel Ratna Awardee will receive a cash prize of Rs 7.5 lakh.
The Arjuna Award is given for constant performance over four years, while the Dronacharya Award is given to coaches for producing medal winners at esteemed international sports events and the Dhyan Chand Award for lifetime contribution to sports development.
Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Awardees will receive statuettes, certificates and cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each.