Neeraj Chopra, who earned the historic gold medal with a throw of 87.58m in the javelin throw finals, became the only second individual gold medalist from India at the Olympics.
Tokyo Olympics gold medal-winning javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, along with eleven other athletes, received the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award from President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Saturday.
The 23-year-old Chopra, who earned the historic track-and-field gold medal with a staggering throw of 87.58m in the javelin throw finals, became the only second individual gold medalist from India at the Olympics and the first in athletics.
Apart from Chopra, Olympic silver-winning wrestler Ravi Dahiya, bronze-winning pugilist Lovlina Borgohain, cricketer Mithali Raj, footballer Sunil Chhetri hockey players PR Sreejesh and Manpreet Singh also received the prestigious award.
Avani Lekhara, who won a gold and a bronze medal in para-shooting at the Tokyo Paralympics, was also honoured with the award alongside four other para-athletes.
Previously known as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently renamed India’s highest sporting honour after legendary hockey player Major Dhyan Chand following India’s record show in hockey in Tokyo.
Khel Ratna Award winners: Neeraj Chopra (Athletics), Ravi Dahiya (Wrestling), PR Sreejesh (Hockey), Lovlina Borgohain (Boxing), Sunil Chhetri (Football), Mithali Raj (Cricket), Manpreet Singh (Hockey), Pramod Bhagat (Para Badminton), Sumit Antil (Para Javelin), Avani Lekhara (Para Shooting), Krishna Nagar (Para Badminton), M Narwal (Para Shooting)
Along with 12 Khel Ratnas, India has 35 Arjuna awardees. The long list this year was a result of the historic medal hauls at the Olympics (7) and Paralympics (19).
The Khel Ratna award carries a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh, a medal and a scroll of honour. Meanwhile, the Arjuna award carries a prize money of Rs 15 lakh.
Arjuna Award winners: Arpinder Singh, Simranjit Kaur, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhavani Devi, Monika, Vandana Katariya, Sandeep Narwal, Hiimani Uttam Parab, Abhishek Verma, Ankita Raina, Deepak Punia, Dilpreet Singh, Harman Preet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Surender Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Birendra Lakra, Sumit, Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Shamsher Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Varun Kumar, Simranjeet Singh, Yogesh Kathuniya, Nishad Kumar, Praveen Kumar, Suhash Yathiraj, Singhraj Adhana, Bhavina Patel, Harvinder Singh, Sharad Kumar.
Dronacharya Award winners: Time Category went to T. P. Ouseph, Sarkar Talwar, Sarpal Singh, Ashan Kumar, and Tapan Kumar Panigrahi. Regular Category was awarded to Radhakrishnan Nair P, Sandhya Gurung, Pritam Siwach, Jai Prakash Nautiyal, Subramanian Raman.
Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement winners: Lekha KC, Abhijeet Kunte, Davinder Singh Garcha, Vikas Kumar, Sajjan Singh
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