New Delhi: President of India, Dr Pranab Mukherjee, on Monday conferred Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna to Rio Olympics medallists PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik alongwith gymnast Dipa Karmakar and shooter Jitu Rai.
Sindhu had won a silver medal in women’s badminton singles
event in Rio and Sakshi had won the bronze medal in women’s freestyle wrestling.
The President also conferred Arjuna Award to 15 sportspersons, including Rajat Chauhan (Archery), Lalita Babar (Athletics), Sourav Kothari (Billiards & Snooker), Shiva Thapa (Boxing), Ajinkya Rahane (Cricket), Subrata Paul (Football), Rani (Hockey), Raghunath V.R. (Hockey), Gurpreet Singh (Shooting), Apurvi Chandela (Shooting), Soumyajit Ghosh (Table Tennis), Vinesh Phogat (Wrestling), Amit Kumar (Wrestling), Sandeep Singh Mann (Para-Athletics), Virender Singh (Wrestling - Deaf).
The day – August 29 – is celebrated as National Sports Day in memory and respect of hockey legend Major Dhyanchand Singh who was born on this day.
Meanwhile, the President conferred Dronacharya Award, which is given to coaches for their contribution to nurturing talent, was given to Nagapuri Ramesh for athletics, Sagar Mal Dhayal for boxing and Raj Kumar Sharma for cricket and Bishweshwar Nandi for gynmnastics.
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ranta: PV Sindhu (badminton), Dipa Karmakar (gymnastics), Jitu Rai (shooting) and Sakshi Malik (wrestling).
Dronacharya Awards: Nagapuri Ramesh (athletics), Sagar Mal Dhayal (boxing), Raj Kumar Sharma (cricket), Bishweshwar Nandi (gymnastics), S Pradeep Kumar (swimming, lifetime achievement) and Mahabir Singh (wrestling, lifetime achievement).
Arjuna Awards: 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).