Kohli, Chanu win Khel Ratna; Arjuna award for Jinson, Neeraj

Jinson Johnson
Keralite middle-distance runner Jinson Johnson received the prestigious Arjuna award.

New Delhi: Cricketer Virat Kohli and weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu were conferred with the country's highest sporting honour - Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award - by President Ram Nath Kovind at the annual National Sports Awards ceremony here on Tuesday.

Keralite middle-distance runner Jinson Johnson, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, sprinter Hima Das and 17 others received the prestigious Arjuna award.

This year's award ceremony was postponed to September 25 from the usual August 29 National Sports Day event due to the clash of dates with the Asian Games in Indonesia.

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award is given for a 'spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years'. Both Kohli and Chanu received a medal, a citation and a cash prize of Rs 7 lakh.

The other Arjuna awardees were table tennis star Manika Batra, shuttler N Sikki Reddy, boxer Satish Kumar, woman cricketer Smriti Mandhana, golfer Shubhankar Sharma, hockey stars Manpreet Singh and Savita Punia, Col Ravi Rathore (polo), shooters Rahi Sarnobat, Ankur Mittal, Shreyasi Singh, paddler G Sathiyan, tennis player Rohan Bopanna, wrester Sumit, Pooja Kadian (wushu).

Para athlete Ankur Dhama and para shuttler Manoj Sarkar were also conferred with the Arjuna award, that included statuettes, certificates and a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each.

The President also gave away the Dronacharya awards to C A Kuttappa (boxing), Vijay Sharma (weightlifting), A Srinivasa Rao (table tennis), Sukhdev Singh Pannu (athletics).

Among the Dronacharya awardees for lifetime achievement were Clarence Lobo (hockey), Tarak Sinha (cricket), Jiwan Kumar Sharma (judo) and V R Beedu (athletics). The Dronacharya awardees were also given statuettes, certificates and a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each.

The Dhyan Chand award, that also includes statuettes, certificates and a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each were given to Satyadev Prasad (archery), Bharat Kumar Chetri (hockey), Bobby Aloysius (athletics) and Chougale Dadu Dattatray (wrestling).

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