It is finally out. After much debate and conjecture, the final list of sportspersons to get the Khel Ratna is out. The news has been confirmed by news agency ANI. PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Dipa Karmakar and Jitu Rai are the chosen athletes to get the prestigious Khel Ratna award. And no surprises here. In also news coming in, 15 athletes will be given the Arjuna Award. (Rio Olympics 2016: I could have died there, says O P Jaisha)
Among them will be Ajinkya Rahane, Lalita Babar, Shiva Thapa & Apurvi Chandela. Again no surprises here too. Talking about the big four, well the more you say the less it is. Sindhu has been phenomenal by becoming the first Indian shuttler to win an Olympic silver. Her performance in Rio was the stuff of legend. How she fought in the final will also be remembered for a long time to come. Ranked number 10 in the world, the best part about her career is that she can only get better.
Sakshi should be celebrated by one and all. How she captured the imagination of the Indian public from being an unknown athlete to being a winner is something to be proud of. She may have not been a huge name in India before Rio but her contribution to India’s campaign in Rio will be talked about for a long time to come.
Rai is someone who was touted to do very well in Rio. And let us be honest, he tried really hard and gave his very best. What he needed was a slice of luck to stand on the podium. That was sadly not the case and he missed out. But he went down kicking and screaming, and after putting up a very, very brave face.
Dipa is one of a kind. A pioneer. She went where no other Indian did. A gymnast from India who will only improve in the years to come. Her performance in the vaults final was memorable. It is a pity that she missed out on a medal but what she did was even more. She triggered an interest in the sport which previously lacked limelight.
All these four athletes are rightly chosen as the winners of the prestigious award. This time one should not have any controversies on who should have won and who should have not. India did not have a great show in Rio but these four athletes have done their job in standing up when it really mattered.