Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday congratulated Indian men’s cricket team skipper Virat Kohli and Commonwealth Games gold medalist S Mirabai Chanu, along with other athletes, who have bestowed upon with National Sports Awards.Also Read - ENG vs IND 2021: 4 Milestones Which Virat Kohli Can Achieve in Upcoming Five-Match Test Series

“I congratulate all the athletes and coaches who have been conferred the National Sports Awards. These awards are the result of years of hardwork, dedication and excellence on the field. India is phenomenally proud of our sportspersons!” said PM Modi. Also Read - ENG vs IND 2021: Virat Kohli And Co. Has Centre Wicket Training Session | See Pics

Prime Minister Modi said that Kohli—who received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award—has brought immense joy for the nation as a batsman and captain. Also Read - Olympic Silver-Medallist Mirabai Chanu Breaks Down on Meeting Mother

“Dear Virat Kohli congratulations on being conferred the Khel Ratna. As a batsman and Captain, you have brought immense joy for the nation. Your popularity among young India is also tremendous. Best wishes for your future endeavours,” said the prime minister.

While congratulating Mirabai, Prime Minister Modi said the talented weightlifter is an inspiration for all sports lovers. “Ms. S. Mirabai Chanu has been distinguishing herself in many sports tournaments, both in India and across the world. Thanks to her skills and dedication, this talented weightlifter is an inspiration for all sports lovers. Congratulations to her on being conferred the Khel Ratna,” said the prime minister.

Both the star athletes were conferred with the Khel Ratna Award by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Tuesday.

The ceremony, which is traditionally held on August 29 to commemorate the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand, was pushed to September 25 this year to avoid a clash of dates with the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang on September 2.

List of Awardees:

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award: Virat Kohli and Mirabai Chanu.

Arjuna Awards: Neeraj Chopra, Jinson Johnson and Hima Das (Athletics); N Sikki Reddy (Badminton); Satish Kumar (Boxing); Smriti Mandhana (Cricket); Shubhankar Sharma (Golf); Manpreet Singh, Savita (Hockey), Ravi Rathore (Polo), Rahi Sarnobat, Ankur Mittal, Shreyasi Singh (Shooting); Manika Batra, G Sathiyan (Table Tennis); Rohan Bopanna (Tennis); Sumit (Wrestling); Pooja Kadian (Wushu); Ankur Dhama (Para-Athletics); Manoj Sarkar (Para-Badminton).

Dronacharya Awards: C A Kuttappa (Boxing); Vijay Sharma (Weightlifting); A Srinivasa Rao (Table Tennis); Sukhdev Singh Pannu (Athletics); Clarence Lobo (Hockey, Lifetime); Tarak Sinha (Cricket, Lifetime); Jiwan Kumar Sharma (Judo, Lifetime); V R Beedu (Athletics, Lifetime).

Dhyan Chand Awards: Satyadev Prasad (Archery); Bharat Kumar Chetry (Hockey); Bobby Aloysius (Athletics); Chougale Dadu Dattatray (Wrestling).

Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar 2018:

1. Identification and Nurturing of Budding & Young Talent: Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited.

2. Encouragement to Sports through Corporate Social Responsibility: JSW Sports

3. Sports for Development: Isha Outreach

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2017-18: Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.

(With PTI inputs)