Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and ace weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu will be honoured with country’s highest sporting honour, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, on September 25, Sports Ministry made this announcement on September 20.
The award will be given away by President Ram Nath Kovind at a specially organised function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Both Kohli and Chanu will be presented a cash prize of Rs 7.5 lakh each apart from a medal and a citation.
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Wrestlers Bajrang Punia, who made country proud by winning the gold medal in the just concluded Asian Games in Jakarta, questioned the selection criteria for the country’s highest sporting honour.
According to the reports, Bajrang Punia got 80 points by the 11-member selection panel for the award. However, his name not featured in the final list released by the sports ministry.
“I’m hurt for not being recognised for my talent and performances, I don’t know what was the criteria of selection for this award,” Punia said.
The 2015 Arjuna award winner pointed out his outstanding performances in recent years and asked the sports ministry to keep an athlete’s morale high rather than treating him badly.
Besides winning medals for India at Aisan Games, Punia had also won a World Championship bronze medal in 2013 and silver in 2014.