12 including Neeraj-Mitali got Khel Ratna, 35 players got Arjuna Award, see full list


New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday felicitated Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra, female cricketer Mithali Raj and para-athletes who created history in Paralympics. For the first time, 12 players were honored with the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, the country’s highest sports honor, in a program organized at the Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan. Most of the award winners had performed well in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, this event was organized online last year but this time it was organized in a grand manner at Rashtrapati Bhavan as usual. Chopra was the highlight of the ceremony. He was greeted with thunderous applause when he went to receive the award at this specially organized ceremony. Chopra was the first among the players to receive the Khel Ratna.

Apart from the 23-year-old who won the Olympic gold medal in javelin throw, Olympic bronze medalist men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh and goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, Olympic silver medalist wrestler Ravi Dahiya, Olympic bronze medalist boxer Lovlina Borgohain and women’s cricket Team captain Mithali was also honored with the country’s highest sports award. Sunil Chhetri became the first footballer to receive the Khel Ratna.

Apart from this, Paralympic gold medalist Avani Lekhara (Shooting), Sumit Antil (Athletics), Pramod Bhagat (Badminton), Krishna Nagar (Badminton), and Manish Narwal (Shooting) were also given Khel Ratna. Apart from twelve Khel Ratna, 35 sportspersons were awarded Arjuna Award this year. The main reason for this was the best performance so far in the Olympics (seven medals) and Paralympics (19 medals).


The ceremony is traditionally held every year on August 29, the birthday of hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand, but was postponed to include players who have performed well in the Olympics and Paralympics. The Khel Ratna award carries a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh, a medal, and a certificate of honor. The Arjuna Award carries a prize money of Rs 15 lakh, a bronze statuette, and a certificate of honor. Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, his predecessor Kiren Rijiju and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.

The list of award-winning players is as follows:
Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award: Neeraj Chopra (Athletics), Ravi Kumar (Wrestling), Lovlina Borgohain (Boxing), PR Sreejesh (Hockey), Avani Lekhara (Para Shooting), Sumit Antil (Para-Athletics), Pramod Bhagat (Para Badminton) , Krishna Nagar (Para Badminton), Manish Narwal (Para Shooting), Mithali Raj (Cricket), Sunil Chhetri (Football), Manpreet Singh (Hockey).

Arjuna Awards: Arpinder Singh (Athletics), Simranjit Kaur (Boxing), Shikhar Dhawan (Cricket), CA Bhavani Devi (Fencing), Monica (Hockey), Vandana Kataria (Hockey), Sandeep Narwal (Kabaddi), Himani Uttam Parab (Mallakhamb) ), Abhishek Verma (shooting), Ankita Raina (tennis), Deepak Poonia (wrestling), Dilpreet Singh (hockey), Harmanpreet Singh (hockey), Rupinder Pal Singh (hockey), Surendra Kumar (hockey), Amit Rohidas (hockey) ), Birender Lakra (hockey), Sumit (hockey), Neelkant Sharma (hockey), Hardik Singh (hockey), Vivek Sagar Prasad (hockey), Gurjant Singh (hockey), Mandeep Singh (hockey), Shamsher Singh (hockey), Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (Hockey), Varun Kumar (Hockey), Simranjit Singh (Hockey), Yogesh Kathunia (Para Athletics), Nishad Kumar (Para Athletics), Praveen Kumar (Para Athletics), Suhash Yatiraj (Para Badminton), Singhraj Adhana (Para Athletics) Para Shooting), Bhavna Patel (Para Table Tennis), Harvinder Singh (Para Archery) and Sharad Kumar (Para Athletics).

Dronacharya Award (Lifetime Category): TP Osef (Athletics), Sarkar Talwar (Cricket), Sarpal Singh (Hockey), Ashan Kumar (Kabaddi), Tapan Kumar Panagarhi (Swimming).

Dronacharya Award (Regular Category): Radhakrishna Nair P (Athletics), Sandhya Gurung (Boxing), Pritam Siwach (Hockey), Jai Prakash Nautiyal (Para Shooting), Subrahmanian Raman (Table Tennis).