Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and ace weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu received the country’s highest sporting honour — Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna – award. The duo received the award by President Ram Nath Kovind at a specially organised function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on September 25.
Both Kohli and Chanu are presented a cash prize of Rs 7.5 lakh each apart from a medal and a citation.
Kohli has now became the third cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar (1997) and former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2007) to receive the award.
The 29-year-old Kohli has 6147 runs in 71 Tests with 23 centuries and 9779 runs in 211 ODIs, including 35 tons.
Virat Kohli’s wife Anushka Sharma was also present at the ceremony.
Earlier, sports ministry also released the names of 20 Arjuna awardees for the year which includes star woman cricketer Smriti Mandhana, sprinter Hima Das, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and table tennis star Manika Batra, among others.
Para athletes Ankur Dhama and Manoj Sarkar will also be awarded the Arjuna award, that includes a certificate and a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each.
Among the winners of the Dronacharya awards are boxing coach Chenanda Achaiah Kuttappa, Vijay Sharma (Weightlifting), A. Srinivasa Rao (TT) and Sukhdev Singh Pannu (Athletics).
The ministry also named Clarence Lobo (Hockey), Tarak Sinha (Cricket), Jiwan Kumar Sharma (Judo) and V.R. Beedu (Athletics) for the Dronacharya Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Satyadev Prasad (Archery), Bharat Kumar Chetri (Hockey), Bobby Aloysius (Athletics) and Chougale Dadu Dattatray (Wrestling) have been named for the Dhyan Chand Award.