PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik to receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna; Mahabir Singh to get the Dronacharya award
As many as 4 athletes- shuttler PV Sindhu, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, shooter Jitu Rai and wrestler Sakshi Malik- will be awarded India’s highest sporting honour-the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna on National Sports Day on August 29th.
Karmakar’s long-time coach Bishweshwar Nandi will be awarded the Dronacharya award as will Mahabir Singh, for his contribution to wrestling and Rajkumar Sharma, who is Virat Kohli’s coach, will also be bestowed the honour for his contribution to the game.
Barring Rai, each of the three athletes had a successful time at the recently-concluded Rio Olympics. Sindhu won a historic silver medal, Sakshi a bronze while Karmakar came touching distance of winning, finishing 4th in the vault final.
In a recent interview, the gymnast had recommended Nandi’s name for the Dronacharya award. Mahabir Singh has been a pioneer in Indian wrestling, having coached both her daughters- Geeta and Babita- to success and Sharma has been instrumental in the progress of Kohli as a batsman.
Last year, Sania Mirza had received the Khel Ratna.
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna: PV Sindhu (badminton), Dipa Karmakar (gymnastics), Jitu Rai (shooting) and Sakshi Malik (wrestling).
Dronacharya award: Nagapuri Ramesh (athletics), Sagar Mal Dhayal (boxing), Raj Kumar Sharma (cricket), Bishweshwar Nandi (gymnastics), S Pradeep Kumar (swimming, lifetime) and Mahabir Singh (wrestling, lifetime).
Arjuna Awards 2016: Rajat Chauhan (archery), Lalita Babar (athletics), Sourav Kothari (billiards and snooker), Shiva Thapa (boxing), Ajinkya Rahane (cricket), Subrata Paul (football), Rani (hockey), VR Raghunath (hockey), Gurpreet Singh (shooting), Apurvi Chandela (shooting), Soumyajit Ghosh (table tennis), Vinesh (wrestling), Amit Kumar (wrestling), Sandeep Singh Mann (para-athletics), Virender Singh (wrestling, deaf).
Dhyan Chand Award: Satti Geetha (athletics), Sylvanus Dung Dung (hockey), Rajendra Pralhad Shelke (rowing).