17 August 2019
New Delhi: Para athlete from Odisha Pramod Bhagat is among the 19 names recommended for the Arjuna Award while para-athlete Deepa Malik was chosen for India's highest sporting honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
Wrestler Bajrang Punia was also recommended for the Khel Ratna as was reported by IANS on Friday. Punia alongwith Vinesh Phogat were recommended by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) for the prestigious award.
Malik won silver in shot put in the F53 classification and also bagged two bronze medals (javelin F53-54 and shot put F51-52-53) at the Asian Games.
The 12-member committee, which met in New Delhi on Friday and Saturday to select the recommendations, included Mary Kom, Bhaichung Bhutia, Anju Bobby George, Anjum Chopra and Kamlesh Mehta, besides those nominated by the Sports Ministry. The other prominent names are Supreme Court judge Justice (Retd) Mukundakam Sharma, Sports Secretary Radhey Shyam Jhulaniya, Sports Authority of India Director General Sandeep Pradhan and Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) CEO Commander Rajesh Rajagopalan.
The committee nominated five names for the Dhyan Chand Award, ranking them in order of priority, in case the Ministry decides to prune the list. The top nominee for the award is Manuel Fredericks, part of the hockey team that won bronze at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The other nominees are Arup Basak (table tennis), Nitin Kirtane (tennis), Manoj Kumar (wrestling) and Chhangte Lalremsanga (archery).
Six-time world champion and Olympic bronze medallist boxer MC Mary Kom recused herself from the meeting to not get into conflict of interest because her personal coach Chhotelal Yadav was in contention for the Dronacharya Award.
The list of names:
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award
Bajrang Punia, Deepa Malik
Vimal Kumar (badminton), Sandeep Gupta (table tennis), Mohinder Singh Dhillon (athletics)
Merzban Patel (hockey), Rambir Singh Khokhar (kabaddi), Sanjay Bhardwaj (cricket)
Tajinderpal Singh Toor (Athletics), Mohammad Anas Yahiya (Athletics), S. Bhaskaran (Body buidling), Sonia Lather (Boxing), Ravindra Jadeja (cricket), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (Hockey), Ajay Thakur (Kabaddi), Gaurav Singh Gill (Motor sports), Pramod Bhagat ( badminton), Anjum Moudgil (shooting), Harmeet Rajul Desai (table tennis), Pooja Dhanda (wrestling), Fouaad Mirza (equestrian), Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (football), Poonam Yadav (cricket), Swapna Barman (Athletics), Sundar Singh Gurjar (Para sports, athletics), Bhamidpati Sai Praneeth (badminton), Simran Shergill (polo)
Manuel Fredricks (Hockey), Arup Basak (Table tennis), Manoj Kumar (Wrestling), Nitten Kirtane (Tennis), Lalremsanga (Archery)