INDIA: Rifle shooter Anjum Moudgil and double trap world champion Ankur Mittal were nominated for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award on Wednesday. The two shooters were nominated for the prestigious award by the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI). The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is the highest sporting honor in India.
Both the shooters are also recipients of the Arjuna Award. Mittal won the award in 2018 after winning the double trap world championship. On the other hand, World champion silver medallist Moudgil received the Arjuna award in 2019.
This year, women’s 10m air rifle world No.1 Elavenil Valarivan and men’s 10m air pistol world No.1 Abhishek Verma, 50m pistol world champion Om Prakash Mitherval have been nominated for the Arjuna Award.
Interestingly, NRAI did not send any nominees for the Dronacharya awards category this year. The Dronacharya Award, officially known as Dronacharya Award for Outstanding Coaches in Sports and Games, is the sports coaching honor of India.
Earlier, the Sports Ministry had announced the invitation of nominations for Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award and Dronacharya Award on May 20.
Till 2019, applicants needed recommendations to be able to apply. However, the condition was waived off last year due to COVID-19.
Meanwhile, India cricketers R Ashwin and Mithali Raj will be recommended by the BCCI for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna. For the Arjuna Award, BCCI will send Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul and Jasprit Bumrah for nominations. Javelin throw Olympic star Neeraj has been nominated by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) for the Khel Ratna Award. Football Star Sunil Chettri was also nominated for the presitgious award by All India Football Federation (AIF).
The 36-year-old Chhetri has been in tremendous form for the country and for his club Bengaluru FC in the last few years. He has played 118 international matches, scoring 74 goals, both Indian records.