Paralympics silver medallist Deepa Malik was on Saturday nominated for the country’s highest sporting honour — the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award — along with Asian and Commonwealth Games champion wrestler Bajrang Punia. Also Read - IND vs AUS 2020 ODI: Team India Clears COVID-19 Test, Begins Physical Training With Gym And Running
The name of 48-year-old Deepa, who won a silver in the shot put F53 category in the 2016 Rio Paralympics, was added for the Khel Ratna by a 12-member selection committee on the second day of the two-day meeting. Also Read - IPL 2020: Ravindra Jadeja's Mistake Leads to Hilarious Twitter Reactions | Watch Video
World No. 1 wrestler in 65kg, Punia was nominated for the country’s top award on Friday by the panel headed by Justice (Retd) Mukundakam Sharma. Also Read - CSK vs KKR 2020, IPL Today Match Report: Ruturaj Gaikwad Fifty, Ravindra Jadeja Blitzkrieg Help Chennai Super Kings Clinch Thriller vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Send Mumbai Indians Into Playoffs
Six-time world champion and Olympic bronze medallist boxer MC Mary Kom recused herself from the meeting to avoid conflict of interest as her personal coach Chhotelal Yadav was in contention for the Dronacharya Award.
The committee also picked 19 sportspersons for the Arjuna Award, including the likes of cricketers Ravindra Jadeja and Poonam Yadav, track and field stars Tejinder Pal Singh Toor, Mohammed Anas and Swapna Barman, footballer Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, hockey player Chinglensana Singh Kangujam and shooter Anjum Moudgil.
As per guidelines, to be eligible for the award, a sportsperson should not only have had good performance consistently for the previous four years at the international level with excellence for the year for which the Award is recommended, but should also have shown qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline.
The panel also nominated three names for the Dronacharya Award, including former badminton star Vimal Kumar, and three for the Dronacharya Award (lifetime category).