Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Ending all the speculations, Sports Ministry on Thursday confirmed the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award for ace Indian shooter Ronjan Sodhi.
Sodhi, two-time world champion in double trap shooting, was selected for India’s highest sporting honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, by the selection committee.
With this declaration, the ministry has rejected athlete Krishna Poonia’s request for a joint award. The discus thrower was unhappy with the selection committee’s decision and even met Sports Minister Jitendra Singh to share her grievances on the issue. Poonia tried to make her case considering the fact that in 2003, Indian shooter Anjali Bhagwat was given the Khel Ratna after being ignored initially.
Later on, Khel Ratna selection panel member Anjali Bhagwat revealed that Poonia had called her to lobby for the top honour. Poonia reacted to this saying that she was only raising her voice against the "injustice" done to her.
The award will be given by the President of India on 31st August.
Star Indian cricketer Virat Kohli is among the 14 sportspersons who have been selected for the Arjuna award by the selection committee. Rising badminton player PV Sindhu, who became the first Indian woman shuttler to clinch a bronze medal at the recent World Championships, is also in the list of 14 sportspersons picked for the Arjuna award.
Triple-jumper Renjith Maheshwary, who won a bronze medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games with a national record, and rising golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar have also been selected for the Arjuna award this year by the committee headed by billiards legend Michael Ferreira.
Ronjan had earlier received the Arjuna Award in 2009 from former president Pratibha Singh Patil.
Ronjan is the only Indian to win a gold medal for India in shooting at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou. He is also the only Indian shooter to have won the World Cup final twice in a row.
With PTI inputs