- 12 athletes to be honoured with the Khel Ratna at National Sports Awards 2021 on 13th November
- On the other hand, The Arjuna Award for Outstanding Performance in Sports and Games shall be granted to 35.
- Paralympians from Rajasthan, Avani Lekhara and Krishna Nagar among those nominated for Khel Ratna
Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, the highest sporting honour of India, is to be bestowed upon 12 athletes including Neeraj Chopra who bagged the gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The National Sports Awards are scheduled to be held on 13th November in New Delhi.
This award, formerly known as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, is offered on the account of spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports over a span of four years. Arjuna award is given to good performance across 4 years in addition to exhibiting qualities of sportsmanship, leadership and a sense of discipline.
Among the other Khel Ratna awardees are Ravi Kumar (Wrestling), Lovlina Borgohain (Boxing) and Manpreet Singh (Hockey). Boxer Lovlina Borgohain acquired a bronze at the Tokyo Olympics, 2020. Paralympic champions Avani Lekhara (Shooting), Sumit Antil (Javelin), Pramod Bhagat (Badminton), Krishna Nagar (Badminton) and Manish Narwal (para pistol shooter) amongst the 12 to be honoured with the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna this year. Olympic silver medallist Ravi Dahiya to receive the same.
Cricketer Mithali Raj and footballer Sunil Chhetri have been selected for the honour alongside others. Sunil Chhetri is factually, the country’s first-ever footballer to be nominated for this award.
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Dronacharya Award for outstanding coaches in Sports and Games are conferred upon coaches for their exceptional, meritorious and incessant efforts in enabling athletes to outperform competitors at International events.
Another meritorious award is the ‘Dhyan Chand Award for lifetime achievement in Sports and Games’ and this is endowed upon athletes for their contribution to sports with their atypical performance and ceaselessly contribute to sports even past retirement.
The ‘Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar’ is awarded to corporate establishments in the public and private sector, NGOs comprising sports bodies at the State and National level, sports control boards, etc. who have played an evident role in the arena of sports and development.
The Maulana Abul Kalam Azad trophy is given to the best performing university in inter-university tournaments. Copious amounts of nominations had been received for the awards this year which were taken into consideration by the Selection committee spearheaded by Justice (Retd.) Mukundakam Sharma, ex-Supreme Court judge inclusive of pre-eminent sportspersons and people holding experience in sports journalism and sports administration.