New Delhi: PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Dipa Karmakar along with ace shooter Jitu Rai were conferred with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award today.
The awardees received their awards from the President of India Pranab Mukherjee at a specially organised function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
PV Sindhu created history at the recently concluded Rio Olympics where she became the first Indian shuttler to win a Silver medal. Sakshi, on the other hand, became India's first woman wrestler to win a medal at the prestigious Games.
Despite not winning a medal, Dipa Karmakar was the talk of the town as she executed the
'Produnova' act to perfection.
Besides, the Ministry also selected 15 athletes for this year’s Arjuna Award. The notable 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 notable among being Dipa’s coach Bishweshwar Nandi and India Test team captain Virat Kohli’s mentor Raj Kumar Sharma.
Besides 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 Khel Ratna Award is given for spectacular 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 consistent performance over four years, while the Dronacharya Award is given to coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious 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.
The awardees were selected from a large number of nominations by a selection committee consisting of former Olympians, Arjuna Awardees, Dronacharya Awardees, Dhyan Chand Awardees, sports journalists, experts, commentators and sports administrators.
The selection committee for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Arjuna Awards was headed by Justice SK Agarwal, Retired Delhi High Court Judge.
The selection committee for Dronacharya Awards and Dhyan Chand Awards was headed by MC Mary Kom, while selection panel for Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar was headed by Rajiv Yadav, Secretary (Sports).