PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik were the two superb athletes at Rio Olympics for India, winning the silver and bronze, respectively, in the quadrennial event. Their performances have helped them earn India's highest sporting honour in the country — the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. Besides the two medallists from India, gymnasts Dipa Karmakar and shooter Jitu Rai will also be given the Khel Ratna.
Sindhu, who received a hero's welcome in Hyderabad on Monday, deserves the award after becoming the first person in the country to win a silver in Indian Olympics history. Wrestler Sakshi, likewise, brought glory to India, winning India's first medal in Rio.
Though Dipa might not have won any medal in Rio, she was one of the success stories of India in the Olympics. The Indian gymnast missed the bronze by a whisker, but won hearts of billions with her incredible performance in the final. Dipa was the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for Rio, and more importantly, the first ever to reach the finals in a gymnastics event.
Jitu might have had a miserable Olympics, but the government is said to have awarded the shooter for his consistent performance in world events in the last couple of years. He did not return home with a medal from Rio, but won the gold in the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
The government also announced the Arjuna Award for a number of sportspersons from India, including Shiva Thapa (boxing), Ajinkya Rahane (cricket) and VR Raghunath (hockey), Subrata Paul (football).
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ranta
|S. No.||Name of the awardee||Discipline|
|1.||Ms. P.V. Sindhu||Badminton|
|2.||Ms. Dipa Karmakar||Gymnastics|
|3.||Shri Jitu Rai||Shooting|
|4.||Ms. Sakshi Malik||Wrestling|
|Name of the awardee||Sports discipline|
|Shri Rajat Chauhan||Archery|
|Ms. Lalita Babar||Athletics|
|Shri Sourav Kothari||Billiards & Snooker|
|Shri Shiva Thapa||Boxing|
|Shri Ajinkya Rahane||Cricket|
|Shri Subrata Paul||Football|
|Shri Raghunath V.R.||Hockey|
|Shri Gurpreet Singh||Shooting|
|Ms. Apurvi Chandela||Shooting|
|Shri Soumyajit Ghosh||Table Tennis|
|Shri Amit Kumar||Wrestling|
|Shri Sandeep Singh Mann||Para-Athletics|
|Shri Virender Singh||Wrestling (Deaf)|