The Presidential Awards in the field of sports recently named the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award were conferred to 12 athletes from different sports on Saturday. The awards are distributed to players from all walks of athleticism who have made a significant contribution to their respective sport. The awards of 2021 were the most anticipated ones. This is because India was riding high on its most successful Paralympic and Olympic Campaign. Here is a look at the winners: –
Neeraj Chopra (Javelin Throw): –
The first Indian to win a medal at the track and field events in Olympics’ history. Only the second Indian to win a gold medal at the Olympics. Neeraj Chopra was certainly a name on the list for the Khel Ratna. Neeraj and his performance have inspired many Indians. Also, not to forget the humble and down-to-earth nature that the individual has.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya (Wrestling): –
Winning a silver medal at the Olympics is not every athlete’s piece of cake. But Ravi Kumar Dahiya defied the odds and grabbed the silver at Tokyo 2020. For his accomplishment in the field, he too was rewarded.
Mithali Raj (Indian Cricket): –
The Indian Cricket Team’s Captain for the One Day Internationals and Test Team, Mithali Raj too received the award on Saturday. Her award was long due since she has been the best in her sport for over 15 years.
Sunil Chhetri (Indian Football Captain): –
The most successful and highest goal scorer Indian has to be on the list of Khel Ratna Awardees, isn’t it? This has been the case with Sunil Chhetri. His contribution to Indian football is unmatched.
Avani Lekhara (Para Shooter): –
The first Gold Medalist for India at the Paralympics in Tokyo, Avani Lekhara performed exceptionally well. The category she plays in is the 10m Air Rifle SH1.
Sumit Antil (Para Javelin Thrower): –
3-time World Record holder and Para Javelin Thrower Sumit Antil also were on this list. He won the Gold Medal at Tokyo 2020 Paralympics in the category F64 Men’s.
Pramod Bhagat (Para Shuttler): –
Pramod Bhagat also was awarded the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna. He secured a gold medal for India at the Paralympics in Tokyo in the SL3 Badminton event.
Manish Narwal (Para Shooter): –
Manish Narwal was the last Gold Medalist from India’s Paralympic Campaign in Tokyo 2020. He won the medal in the 50M Air Pistol SH1.
PR Sreejesh (Indian Hockey): –
The “Goalkeeper” of the Indian Men’s hockey team, that won a bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics too got the Khel Ratna. His composure in the final moments of the 3rd place match got him this award. PR Sreejesh is a legend!
Manpreet Singh (Indian Hockey): –
Manpreet Singh, India’s flag bearer at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the captain of the Indian Hockey Team that won the bronze medal after 41 years was awarded this prestigious accolade. Manpreet was more than deserving of this award.
Krishna Nagar (Para Shuttler): –
Krishna Nagar won the Gold Medal in Para-Badminton SH6 for India at Tokyo 2020. His contribution to the most successful Paralympic Campaign is unparalleled.
Lovlina Borgohain (Women’s Boxing): –
Apart from Mary Kom, India has one more star in boxing. This time it is Lovlina Borgohain, the Bronze Medalist from the Tokyo 2020 Campaign.