Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who became the second Indian to win an individual Olympic gold at the Tokyo Games, and silver medal-winning wrestler Ravi Dahiya were recommended along with nine others for the Major Dhyanchand Khel Ratna, the country’s highest sporting honour, on Wednesday.
Boxer Lovlina Borgohain, who won a bronze in Tokyo Olympics, hockey goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh and woman cricket Test skipper Mithali Raj were also recommended for the Major Dhyanchand Khel Ratna. Sunil Chhetri became the first footballer to be selected for the honour.
Shooters Avani Lekhara and Manish Narwal, javelin thrower Sumit Antil, and shuttlers Pramod Bhagat and Krishna Nagar, who all won Paralympics gold medals, complete the list of those recommended for the Khel Ratna.
The committee also picked 35 athletes for the Arjuna Award, eight more than last year’s number. Cricketer Shikhar Dhawan, para TT player Bhavina Patel, para shuttler Suhas Yathiraj and high jumper Nishad Kumar are among those selected.
All members of the Tokyo Olympics bronze medal winning men’s hockey team have also been recommended.
Women’s hockey team members Vandana Katariya and Monika, fencer Bhavani Devi, boxer Simranjit Kaur, wrestler Deepak Punia, shooter Abhishek Verma, kabaddi player Sandeep Narwal, and women’s tennis player Ankita Raina are among others to get recommendation.
The Dronacharya award has been accorded to athletics coaches Radhakrishna Nair and T.P. Ouseph and hockey coach Sandeep Sangwan among others.