More glory was bestowed on the Olympic heroes as Neeraj Chopra, Ravi Dahiya and more won the prestigious Khel Ratna Award. The update comes a few weeks after it was reported that Chopra, along with a slew of sportspersons was shortlisted for this year’s Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. Formerly known as Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the highest sporting honour witnessed a minor yet welcome change as it was renamed to Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award. The name was an ode to one of the greatest hockey players in the world – Major Dhyan Chand.

Along with Chopra, Lovlina Borgohain, Ravi Dahiya, Mithali Raj, Sushil Chhetri were among those who took home the highest sporting honour.

Background

It seems as if it was yesterday that India was having its golden run at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. India registered 7 medals, its highest so far in the history of Olympics. India started its run with Mirabai Chanu clinching the silver medal in weight lifting.

After that, pugilist Lovlina Borgohain, badminton player P.V. Sindhu, wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya won silver and bronze medals in their respective sports.

The golden moment came when Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra put India’s name on the summit by winning a gold medal (the first for the country in the sport).

Earlier last month, Indian Paralympians continued where the Olympians left things at and achieved a slew of medals at the Tokyo Paralympics as well.


Also Read: Neeraj Chopra, Mithali Raj, Avani Lekhara Recommended for Khel Ratna Award


The Facts of the Matter

On Saturday, November 13, President Ram Nath Kovind gave the highest sporting honour – Dhyan Chand Kel Ratna Award – to Olympians, Paralympians, cricketers and athletes that have brought glory to India.

Here’s the list of the 2021 Winners of the Khel Ratna Award

1) Neeraj Chopra

Neeraj Chopra won a gold medal in javelin throw at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It was the first gold medal for India in javelin throw, and second in athletics ever. It was also the first and only gold medal for India at this year’s Olympics.

2) Ravi Kumar Dahiya

Dahiya won the silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics in the 57kg weight category. He’s also a two-time Asian Championships winner and a bronze medal winner from 2019 World Wrestling Championship.

3) P. R. Sreejesh

Sreejesh was the wall of Indian hockey that helped India achieve the bronze medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics in men’s filed hockey. He’s also the winner of FIH Player of the Year Awards for the category of best goalkeeper.

4) Avani Lekhara

20-year-old Avani Lekhara won a gold medal in the recently concluded Tokyo Paralympics in 10m air rifle standing. She also went to win the bronze medal in the 50m rifle category in the same event.

5) Sumit Antil

23-year-old Sumit is a Paralympian javelin thrower. He is the current world record holder of throwing the javelin at the farthest distance (68.55) and won gold medal at the F64 category in 2020 Summer Paralympics.

6) Mithali Raj

For decades, Mithali has held the baton of cricketing for female cricketers in India. Often touted as the Sachin Tendulkar of women’s cricket, she’s the highest run-scorer in women’s international cricket. She has already received Arjuna Award and Padma Shri for her accomplishments.

Other Khel Ratna Awards 2021 Winners:

7) Manpreet Singh

8) Sunil Chhetri

9) Manish Narwal

10) Pramod Bhagat

11) Lovlina Borgohain