New Delhi - Olympic medallists Vijay Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt were conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award by President Pranab Mukherjee while a record 25 athletes were honoured with the Arjuna Award.
Pistol shooter Vijay, who won the silver medal, and wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, a bronze medallist, were awarded the country’s highest sporting honour for their sterling performance in the London Olympic Games. The award carries a statuette, citation and cash prize of Rs.7.5 lakh each.
For the first time, an unprecedented 25 athletes were given the Arjuna Award since this was the Olympic year. The award carries a statuette, citation and enhanced cash prize of Rs.5 lakh each.
The sportspersons are as follows:
Cricketer Yuvraj Singh, who has recovered from cancer, and para athlete Deepa Malik were among those who were awarded with the Arjuna Award. But the loudest applause was reserved for Deepa and another paralympics athlete, Ramkaran Singh.
“I am deeply honoured by this award. Paralympics is a very underrated event and I hope now that people will take more interest,” said Deepa.
The president also gave away Dronacharya Awards to eight coaches in recognition of their meritorious achievements in the field of coaching. The award carries a statuette, citation and enhanced cash prize of Rs.5 lakh each.
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna: Vijay Kumar (shooting), Yogeshwar Dutt (wrestler).
Dronacharya: Virender Poonia (athletics), Sunil Dabas (kabaddi women), Yashvir Singh (wrestling), Harendra Singh (hockey), Satyapal Singh (para sports ahletics), J.S. Bhatia (athletics), Bhawani Mukherjee (table tennis), and B.I. Fernandez (boxing).
Arjuna Award: Deepika Kumari (archery), Laishram Bombayla Devi (archery), Sudha Singh (athletics), Kavita Ramdas Raut (athletics), Ashwani Ponnappa (badminton), Parupalli Kashyap (badminton), Aditya Mehta (billiards and snooker), Vikas Krishan (boxing), Yuvraj Singh (cricket), Sardar Singh (hockey), Yashpal Solanki (judo), Anup Kumar (kabaddi), Samir Suhag (polo), Annu Raj Singh (shooting), Omkar Singh (shooting), Joydeep Karmakar (shooting), Deepika Pallikal (squash), Sandeep Sejwal (swimming), Sonia Chanu (weightlifting), Narsingh Yadav (wrestling), Rajinder Kumar (wrestling), Geeta Phogat (wrestling), Bimoljit Singh (wushu), Deepa Malik (athletics paralympics), and Ramkaran Singh (athletics paralympics).
Dhyanchand Award: Jagraj Singh Mann (athletics), Gundeep Kumar (hockey), Vinod Kumar (wrestling), and Sukhbir Singh Tokas (para-sports).
Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar: Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL), Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB), and Services Sports Control Board (SSCB).