The national sports awards committee has recommended 11 athletes, including javelinist Neeraj Chopra winner of a gold medal at this year’s Tokyo Olympic games, for India’s highest sporting honour, the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. 

Lovlina Borgohain,  who won a boxing bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics in the women’s welterweight event, has also been nominated. As has Ravi Dahiya, the freestyle wrestler who won the silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics in the 57 kg category.

Others in the list include PR Sreejesh,  seasoned hockey goalkeeper and former captain of the national team, and Sunil Chhetri, captain of the national team and one India’s most prolific goal scorer.

Mithali Raj, captain of India’s women’s Test cricket team, is a nominee and so are Pramod Bhagat, world number one para-badminton men’s player who won India a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, and Sumit Antil who won the gold medal in the men’s javelin throw F64 category at the Paralympics.

Other names in the list include Avani Lekhara, the 19-year-old shooting sensation who won the gold medal in the 10m air rifle standing as well as the bronze medal in the 50m rifle 3 positions at the 2020 Paralympics, and Krishna Nagar, ranked world number two in the para-badminton men’s singles SH6 category. He was a gold medal winner at the 2020 Summer Paralympics.

Manish Narwal, the para-pistol shooter who began shooting in 2016 and won a gold medal for India in the Mixed P4 – 50m pistol SH1 category, is the final nominee.

Thirty-five sports persons have been named for the Arjuna award, including cricketer Shikhar Dhawan, para-shuttler Suhas Yathiraj and high jumper Nishad Kumar.

The Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award was earlier known as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. Prime Minister Narendra Modi renamed the award after the Indian hockey legend. Winners of the award receive a medallion, certificate and cash prize of Rs 25 lakh.