After making India’s proud at the recently-concluded Asian Games 2018, Javelin star Neeraj Chopra and middle distance champion Jinson Johnson have been nominated for the prestigious Arjuna award on Monday. Neeraj bagged a historic Gold medal in the Javelin throw event with a national record throw. While Johnson proved his mettle as he picked up a gold and silver medal at the multi-sporting carnival in Jakarta and Palembang in both 1500m and 800m category. The award committee met in Delhi selected Jinson Johnson for the award. The official announcement wasn’t made yet.
Other prominent names recommended for the Arjuna Awards were junior world champion sprinter Hima Das and Asian Games gold-medallist middle distance runner Jinson Johnson, cricketer Smriti Mandhana, hockey players Manpreet Singh and Savita Punia, multiple Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manika Batra and Asian Games doubles gold-medallist tennis player Rohan Bopanna.
Kohli Nominated for Khel Ratna Alongside Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu
Once ratified by him, President Ram Nath Kovind will present the awards on September 25 at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
The 27-year old Johnson clinched a gold medal in the 1500m race by clocking an impressive timing of 3 minutes 44.72 seconds. A day before his moment of glory, Johnson won a silver medal in the 800meter category, his compatriot and friend Manjit Singh bagged the gold in the same event.
After his splendid show in Asian Games, Johnson has set his sights firmly on the 2020 Olympics. He feels if he trains well India will have a realistic chance to win an elusive Olympic medal in the biggest sporting fest in Tokyo.
Jinson’s 1500m gold-winning effort of 3 minutes 44.72 seconds was better than the gold medal-winning time of 3:50.00s won by American Matthew Centrowitz in the 2016 Rio Games.
Apart from Johnson, Indian captain Virat Kohli and world champion weightlifter Mirabai Chanu were Monday jointly recommended for the country’s highest sporting honour – the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.
Kohli will become the third Indian cricketer after legendary Sachin Tendulkar (1997) and the former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2007) once the sports ministry officially accepts the committee’s recommendation.