NEW DELHI: The national sports awards committee on Wednesday recommended 11 athletes for the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award - India's highest sporting honour.
Neeraj Chopra, who bagged a historic gold medal at Tokyo Olympics 2020 in javelin, was named in the list along with other Olympic medal winners - Ravi Dahiya, PR Sreejesh and Lovlina Borgohai. Veteran Indian women's cricketer Mithali Raj was also named for the top honour along with Sunil Chhetri - who has become the first Indian footballer to be recommended for India's highest sporting honour.
2021 was a special year for India where several athletes made the country proud at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 as well as Tokyo Paralympics 2020. Indian Paralympian Avani Lekhara, who had become the first Indian woman to win two medals at the Paralympics, has also been recommended for the Khel Ratna Award. Sumit Antil - who won a gold medal in F64 para javelin throw at Paralympics 2020, has also been recommended for the Khel Ratna.
Along with this, 35 Indian athletes have also been recommended for the Arjuna Award.
Athletes recommended for Khel Ratna Award:
Neeraj Chopra (Athletics)
Ravi Dahiya (Wrestling)
PR Sreejesh (Hockey)
Lovlina Borgohain (Boxing)
Sunil Chhetri (Football)
Mithali Raj (Cricket)
Pramod Bhagat (Badminton)
Sumit Antil (Javelin)
Avani Lekhara (Shooting)
Krishna Nagar (Badminton)
M Narwal (Shooting)
Previously known as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently renamed India's highest sporting honour after legendary hockey player Major Dhyan Chand.