Neeraj Chopra Among 12 Athletes Conferred Khel Ratna; 35 Get Arjuna Award

Neeraj Chopra and 11 other athletes received the Khel Ratna.

3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Neeraj Chopra poses with the President of India.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p></div>

India’s only athletics Gold medallist at the Summer Olympic Games, Neeraj Chopra, received the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award from President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday.

Neeraj won the Gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics earlier in the year in the javelin event. Neeraj’s gold medal was the first individual one for the country since Abhinav Bindra in Beijing in 2008.


It was a glittering function organised at the Durbar Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhawan in the national capital with the President giving away the awards. The event became an in-person affair this year after having been conducted virtually last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Present at Saturday's ceremony was sports minister Anurag Thakur along with a host of other dignitaries, including his predecessor Kiren Rijiju.

The Khel Ratna Award was awarded to 12 sportspersons including Neeraj, Ravi Kumar (Wrestling), Lovlina Borgohain (Boxing), Sreejesh P.R (Hockey), Avani Lekhara (Para Shooting), Sumit Antil (Para-Athletics), Pramod Bhagat (Para Badminton), Krishna Nagar (Para Badminton), Manish Narwal (Para Shooting), Mithali Raj (Cricket), Sunil Chhetri (Football), and Manpreet Singh (Hockey).

However, Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Gold medallist Krishna Nagar didn't attend the award ceremony. There were reports that his mother passed away on Friday and that's why he didn't could not make it to the event.

The men's Indian hockey team, who returned with a historic bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics was awarded the Arjun Award with the exceptions of PR Sreejesh and Manpreet Singh.

Sunil Chhetri is the first footballer to be awarded the Khel Ratna. Cricketer Mithali Raj joined the elite group which also has Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

Along with 12 Khel Ratnas, India has 35 Arjuna awardees, after a year of massive success in the Olympics and Paralympics. India had their best hauls ever in with seven in the Olympics and 19 medals at the Paralympics.

The event is normally held on 29 August to commemorate the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand.

The Khel Ratna award carries a cash prize purse of Rs 25 lakh, a medal a scroll of honour. The Arjuna award carries a prize money of Rs 15 lakh, a bronze statue and a scroll of honour.

The Dronacharya Award for the Life-Time Category were also presented on the occasion. It was presented to coaches TP Ouseph (athletics), Sarkar Talwar (cricket), Sarpal Singh (hockey), Ashan Kumar (kabaddi), and Tapan Kumar Panigrahi (swimming).

The Dronacharya in the regular category was awarded to Radhakrishnan Nair P (athletics), Sandhya Gurung (boxing), Pritam Siwach (hockey), Jai Prakash Nautiyal (para-shooting), and Subramanian Raman (table tennis).

The Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement went to athlete Lekha KC, chess Grandmaster Abhijeet Kunte, Davinder Singh Garcha (hockey), Vikas Kumar (kabaddi), and Sajjan Singh (wrestling). Punjab University (Chandigarh) received the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy for 2021.

Full List of 35 Arjuna Awardees

  1. Arpinder Singh (Athletics)

  2. Simranjit Kaur (Boxing)

  3. Shikhar Dhawan(Cricket)

  4. Bhavani Devi (Fencing)

  5. Monika (Hockey)

  6. Vandana Katariya (Hockey)

  7. Sandeep Narwal (Kabaddi)

  8. Himani Uttam Parab (Mallakhamba)

  9. Abhishek Verma (Shooting)

  10. Ankita Raina (Tennis)

  11. Deepak Punia (Wrestling)

  12. Dilpreet Singh (Hockey)

  13. Harman Preet Singh (Hhockey)

  14. Rupinder Pal Singh (Hockey)

  15. Surender Kumar (Hockey)

  16. Amit Rohidas (Hockey)

  17. Birendra Lakra (Hockey)

  18. Sumit (Hockey)

  19. Nilakanta Sharma (Hockey)

  20. Hardik Singh (Hockey)

  21. Vivek Sagar Prasad (Hockey)

  22. Gurjant Singh(Hockey)

  23. Mandeep Singh (Hockey)

  24. Shamsher Singh (Hockey)

  25. Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (Hockey)

  26. Varun Kumar (Hockey)

  27. Simranjeet Singh (Hockey)

  28. Yogesh Kathuniya (Para-athletics)

  29. Nishad Kumar (Para-athletics)

  30. Praveen Kumar (Para-athletics)

  31. Suhash Yathiraj (Para-badminton)

  32. Singhraj Adhana (Para shooting)

  33. Bhavina Patel (Para-table-tennis)

  34. Harvinder Singh (Para-archery)

  35. Sharad Kumar (Para-athletics)

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