President Ramnath Kovind on Tuesday awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award to the Indian Cricket Team Captain Virat Kohli and World Champion Weightlifter Meerabai Chanu and for the Arjuna award 18 players are awarded including Indian Throw Star Athlete Neeraj Chopra and Runner Hima Das.
At the function held at Ashoka Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan, everyone looked at Kohli, who became the third cricketer to receive the Khel Ratna after Sachin Tendulkar (1997-98) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2007).
Prior to this, Kohli, who received the Arjuna Award in 2013 and Padma Shri last year, had reached the ceremony with his wife Anushka Sharma, mother Saroj Kohli, brother Vikas and coach Rajkumar Sharma. Kohli reached the program five minutes earlier and went straight to the end of the program. Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was also present on this occasion.
Chanu was selected for this prestigious award for winning the gold medal in 48kg in the World Championship last year. He won gold medal in Commonwealth Games this year but was unable to participate in Asian Games due to injury. Chanu later said that she was surprised by the country’s highest sports award in the early stages of his career.
She said, “I had never thought that in the early stages of the career itself, I will get sports gems. This is the most enjoyable moment of my life. This gave me an opportunity to sit near the player like Kohli. I am fit now and I have started practicing. “
The player who receives the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is given cash award of Rs 7.5 lakh in addition to the medal and citation. Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyanchand award winners are given short credits, certificates and cash prize of Rs. 5 lakhs. Athlete Neeraj Chopra and Hema Das are the center of attraction for the Arjuna awardees.
World Junior Record holder Chopra won gold medals this year in the Common Wealth and Asian Games, while Hima became the first Indian woman athlete to win a gold medal in the World Under-20 Championship in Finland.
They achieved this achievement in 400 meters. Hema Das said, “I feel very good. It feels good when your performance is recognized. I am very happy.” Janson Johnson, another athlete who received the Arjuna award, said, “This award will inspire me to do well in the upcoming competitions especially in the 2020 Olympics.”
This time Shreyasi Singh, Rahi Sarnobat and Ankur Mittal received this award. Golfer Shubhankar Sharma and Youth Table Tennis player Manika Batra were also honored by the President by the Arjuna Award. Shreyasi said that “This award will inspire him to win a medal in the Olympics and get him the Khel Ratna.“
She said, “This experience can not be missed. I am engaged in preparations for Olympic qualification. After this award, of course, my goal is to get the game gem for which I have to win the Olympic medal. Arjuna Award has been encouraged to achieve the goal.” Women Cricketer Smriti Smita was unable to participate in the function due to being on a tour with the Indian team. Tennis player Rohan Bopanna also could not reach the award ceremony due to playing in the ATP tournament in China.
The list of award winners is as follows:
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award:
Virat Kohli and Meerabai Chanu
Neeraj Chopra, Johnson Johnson and Hima Das (athletics); N Sikki Reddy (badminton); Satish Kumar (boxing); Memory smirk (cricket); Shubhankar Sharma (golf); Manpreet Singh, Savita (hockey); Ravi Rathod (Polo); Rahi Sarnobat, Ankur Mittal, Shreyasi Singh (shooting); Manika Batra, G Sithian (table tennis); Rohan Bopanna (tennis); Sumit (wrestling); Pooja kadia (wushu); Ankur Dhama (para-athletics); Manoj Sarkar (Para-Badminton)
C.A.Kuttappa (boxing); Vijay Sharma (weightlifting); A. Srinivasa Rao (table tennis); Sukhdev Singh Pannu (athletics); Clarence Lobo (hockey, lifetime); Tarak Sinha (cricket, lifetime); Jeevan Kumar Sharma (Judo, Lifetime); We are BDU (athletics, lifetime).
Medal Chand Award:
Satyadev Prasad (Archery); Bharat Kumar Chhetri (hockey); Bobby Alloysius (athletics); Chougule Dadu Dattatreya (Wrestling).