Indian Test and ODI captain Virat Kohli and world weightlifting champion Mirabai Chanu have been recommended for this year’s Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the country’s highest sporting honour.
Star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, sprint sensation Hima Das, and Asian Games gold medal winner Jinson Johnson are among the 20 sportspersons whose names have been recommended for the Arjuna Award.
The recommendations by the awards selection committee need to be approved by Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. They will be presented by President Ram Nath Kovind on 25 September.
Virat Kohli has had a sensational run over the past year, scoring heavily against England, South Africa, and Sri Lanka. He was named ICC Cricketer of the year for 2017.
Kohli, who has been nominated twice in the past, has 23 centuries in Tests and 35 in One Day Internationals (ODIs). His tally of 58 centuries in international cricket is second only to Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 100 tons.
The Indian captain, incidentally, has already been honoured with the Padma Shri award.
If his name gets the nod, he will be the third cricketer after Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2007) and Sachin Tendulkar (1997) to receive the Khel Ratna award.
World weightlifting champion Saikhom Mirabai Chanu won a gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. She created a new Games record in the 48kg category. Chanu, however, had to skip the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games due to an injury.
Here is the complete list of sportspersons recommended for the Arjuna Award:
- Neeraj Chopra,Hima Das, and Jinson Johnson (Athletics)
- Manpreet Singh and Savita Punia (Hockey)
- Sikki Reddy (Badminton)
- Satish Kumar (Boxing)
- Smriti Mandhana (Cricket)
- Shubhankar Sharma (Golf)
- Ravi Rathore (Polo)
- Rahi Sarnobat, Ankur Mittal and Shreyasi Singh (Shooting)
- Mannika Batra and G Sathiyan (Table tennis)
- Rohan Bopanna (Tennis)
- Puja Kadian (Wushu)
- Sumit (Wrestling)
- Ankur Dhama (Para athletics) and Manoj Sarkar (Para badminton)
Neeraj Chopra had created history by becoming the first Indian to win an Asian Games gold medal in javelin throw.
Middle-distance runner Jinson Johnson won the Men’s 1500m gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games. He won a silver medal in the 800m, finishing behind Manjit Singh who won gold.