Neeraj Chopra, Ravi Dahiya, Lovlina Borgohain among 12 athletes to be conferred with Khel Ratna

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Nov 02, 2021, 11:05 PM IST


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Tokyo 2020 stars Neeraj Chopra, Ravi Dahiya and Lovlina Borgohain are among 12 athletes who are set to be awarded the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. 

Team India had a memorable run in the Tokyo Olympics, held in Japan early this year. The Indian contingent returned with their best-ever performance at an Olympics, in Tokyo 2020, as they ended with seven medals. Neeraj won gold in men's javelin, PV Sindhu, Lovlina, men's hockey team and Bajrang Punia attained bronze whereas the likes of Ravi Dahiya and weightlifter Mirabai Chanu returned with a silver medal each.

As a result, the Tokyo medallists such as golden boy Neeraj Chopra, wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya and young boxer Lovlina Borgohain are among 12 sportspersons who are set to be conferred with the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports announced the National Sports Awards 2021 on Tuesday (November 2).  

Indian men's hockey team captain Manpreet Singh -- who led the national side to their first-ever Olympic medal after 41 years --  has been also added to Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna awardees list. Thus, the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award -- which was earlier known as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award -- will be handed over to a total of 12 sportspersons.

The 12 include Neeraj (Athletics), Ravi Kumar (Wrestling), Lovlina (Boxing), Sreejesh P.R (Hockey), Avani Lekhara (Para Shooting), Sumit Antil (Para Athletics), Pramod Bhagat (Para Badminton), Krishna Nagar (Para Badminton), Manish Narwal (Para Shooting), Mithali Raj (Cricket), Sunil Chhetri (Football), and Manpreet Singh (Hockey). 

Meanwhile, as many as 35 Indian sportspersons have also been nominated for the Arjuna Award.

"A large number of nominations were received for these awards this year, which were considered by the Selection Committee headed by Justice (Retd.) Mukundakam Sharma (former Judge of Supreme Court), consisting members from eminent sportspersons and persons having experience in sports journalism & sports administrator etc," the ministry stated. 

The awardees will receive their awards from the President of India Ram Nath Kovind on November 13 (Saturday). It will be given at a specially organized function, to be held at the Darbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan.