Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and world champion weightlifter Mirabai Chanu will receive the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna on September 25, the Sports Ministry announced Thursday. The list was already out but the ministry made it official on Thursday.
Star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra was among 20 sportspersons picked for the Arjuna Awards, and they will be honoured by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. On Wednesday, archery coach Jiwanjot Singh Teja was dropped from the list of Dronacharya award nominees due to a past case of indiscipline. Teja was among five coaches named by the selection committee for Dronacharya award but it came to light that he had served a one-year ban following an incident of indiscipline during the 2015 World University Games in Korea.
Kohli, the world’s No.1 Test batsman as per the ICC rankings, has been in stupendous form in the past three years though he missed out of the top award despite nominations in 2016 and 2017.
The 29-year-old Kohli has 6147 runs in 71 Tests with 23 centuries and 9779 runs in 211 ODIs, including 35 tons. Chanu was chosen for the prestigious award following her gold medal in 48kg category at the World Championships last year. She also bagged the yellow metal in this year’s Commonwealth Games but didn’t compete at the Asian Games due to injury.
The President will also present the Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Awards on the same day.
The 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).