Sports Ministry confirms badminton duo Satwik-Chirag for Khel Ratna; Shami and 25 others for Arjuna award


PTI, Dec 20, 2023, 5:32 PM IST

Image credit: PTI and X/@BAI_Media

The Sports Ministry on Wednesday put its stamp on the nominations for the annual sports awards, confirming the prestigious Khel Ratna honour for badminton players Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty and the Arjuna award for 26 sports persons, including pacer Mohammed Shami.

The awards will be conferred on the athletes by President Droupadi Murmu at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on January 9.

Chirag and Satwik are Asian Games gold medallists, World Championships bronze winners and Commonwealth Games silver medallists.

On the other hand, Shami, 33, had a spectacular run in the ODI World Cup, where India finished second-best, losing to Australia in the final.

Shami was the leading wicket-taker in the World Cup, with 24 wickets to his name in seven outings.

The athletes selected for this year’s Arjuna award include hockey players Krishan Bahadur Pathak and Sushila Chanu, archers Ojas Pravin Deotale and Aditi Gopichand Swami, boxer Mohammad Hussamuddin, chess player R Vaishali, golfer Diksha Dagar, shooters Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar and Esha Singh, wrestlers Antim Panghal and Sunil Kumar, paddler Ayhika Mukherjee and para archer Sheetal Devi, among others.

The athletes were nominated for the awards by a government panel on December 13.

The ministry also cleared five coaches for Dronacharya award in the regular category and three in life-time category. The Dyan Chand award in the life-time category will be conferred to three persons.

Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar is the recipient of the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2023, while Lovely Professional University, Punjab and Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra are the first and second runner-ups. National Sports Awards are given every year to recognise and reward excellence in sports.

List of National Sports Award winners:

Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award for 2023: Chirag Shetty and Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy (badminton).

Arjuna Awards for 2023: Ojas Pravin Deotale (archery), Aditi Gopichand Swami (archery), Murali Sreeshankar (athletics), Parul Chaudhary (athletics), Mohameed Hussamuddin (boxing), R Vaishali (chess), Mohammed Shami (cricket), Anush Agarwalla (equestrian), Divyakriti Singh (equestrian dressage), Diksha Dagar (golf), Krishan Bahadur Pathak (hockey), Sushila Chanu (hockey), Pawan Kumar (kabaddi), Ritu Negi (kabaddi), Nasreen (kho-kho), Pinki (lawn bowls), Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar (shooting), Esha Singh (shooting), Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (squash), Ayhika Mukherjee (table tennis), Sunil Kumar (wrestling), Antim (wrestling), Naorem Roshibina Devi (wushu), Sheetal Devi (para archery), Illuri Ajay Kumar Reddy (blind cricket), Prachi Yadav (para canoeing).

Dronacharya Award (regular category)for outstanding coaches: Lalit Kumar (wrestling), RB Ramesh (chess), Mahaveer Prasad Saini (para athletics), Shivendra Singh (hockey), Ganesh Prabhakar Devrukhkar (mallakhamb).

Dronacharya Award (life-time category)for outstanding coaches: Jaskirat Singh Grewal (golf), Bhaskaran E (kabaddi), Jayanta Kumar Pushilal (table tennis). Dhyan Chand Award for lifetime achievement: Manjusha Kanwar (badminton), Vineet Kumar Sharma (hockey), Kavitha Selvaraj (kabaddi). Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2023: Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar (overall winner university); Lovely Professional University, Punjab (1st runner-up), Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra (2nd runner-up).

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