PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Dipa Karmakar, Jitu Rai to be conferred with Khel Ratna award today

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After a brilliant show at Rio Olympics 2016, PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Dipa Karmakar along with ace shooter Jitu Rai will be conferred with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award today. The awardees will receive their awards from the President of India at a specially organised function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. While PV Sindhu created history by becoming the first Indian shuttler to bag a silver medal at the biggest sporting spectacle, Sakshi too made the country extremely proud by becoming the first Indian woman wrestler to clinch a medal at the mega event. Dipa did not return with a medal, but she became a household name in the country overnight as a result of her gutsy show. Besides, the Ministry also selected 15 athletes for this year’s Arjuna Award. The notable names in the list are boxer Shiva Thapa, long distance runner Lalita Babar, cricketer Ajinkya Rahane, hockey players VR Raghunath and Rani Rampal among others. This year’s Dronacharya Award has been conferred upon six coaches, the most notable among being Dipa’s coach Bishweshwar Nandi and India Test team captain Virat Kohli’s mentor Raj Kumar Sharma. Besides Nandi, others who will honoured with the Dhronacharya Award are Nagapuri Ramesh (athletics), Sagar Mal Dhayal (boxing), Pradeep Kumar (swimming, lifetime) and Mahabir Singh (wrestling, lifetime). The Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to Satti Geetha (athletics), Sylvanus Dung Dung (hockey) and Rajendra Pralhad Shelke (rowing). Besides, the Punjabi University of Patiala will be awarded the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2015-16. The National Sports Awards are given every year to recognise and reward excellence in sports. The Khel Ratna Award is given for spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years. Apart from a medal and a citation, the Khel Ratna Awardee will receive a cash prize of Rs 7.5 lakh. The Arjuna Award is given for consistent performance over four years, while the Dronacharya Award is given to coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious international sports events and the Dhyan Chand Award for lifetime contribution to sports development. Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Awardees will receive statuettes, certificates and cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each. The Recipients of Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar will be given trophies and certificates. Overall top performing university in inter-university tournaments will be given MAKA Trophy, award money of Rs 10 lakh and certificates. The awardees were selected from a large number of nominations by a selection committee consisting of former Olympians, Arjuna Awardees, Dronacharya Awardees, Dhyan Chand Awardees, sports journalists, experts, commentators and sports administrators. The selection committee for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Arjuna Awards was headed by Justice SK Agarwal, Retired Delhi High Court Judge. The selection committee for Dronacharya Awards and Dhyan Chand Awards was headed by MC Mary Kom, while selection panel for Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar was headed by Rajiv Yadav, Secretary (Sports). The awardees will receive their awards from the President of India at a specially organised function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on August 29, 2016.

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