Archer Jyothi Surekha Vennam recommended for Khel Ratna
Three-time World Cup silver medallist Jyothi Surekha Vennam has been recommended for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the country's highest sporting honour, by the Archery Association of India
Three-time World Cup silver medallist Jyothi Surekha Vennam has been recommended for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the country's highest sporting honour, by the Archery Association of India (AAI). The AAI also recommended legendary coach and Olympian Limba Ram for Dronacharya (Lifetime) Award. The national federation also recommended Asian Games team silver medallist Muskan Kirar for the Arjuna Award and renowned compound archery coach Lokesh Chand Pal for the Dronacharya Award this year.
"Last year, the recurve archers got the National Awards so this time we have picked from the compound section," a top AAI official told PTI. The 24-year-old Jyothi had won an individual World Championship bronze medal in Den Bosch, the Netherlands in 2019. That was her second medal at the World Championships. She had won a team silver in Mexico in 2017, following which she was awarded the coveted Arjuna Award. Overall, she has two World Cup silver and four bronze medals. She was also a silver medallist in the season-ending World Cup Final in 2018 in the mixed pair event with Abhishek Verma. Jyothi is also a two-time Asian Games medallist -- a team bronze in 2014 and silver in 2018 with Muskan.
The national federation has also nominated Abhishek Verma's childhood coach Lokesh Chand Pal for the Dronacharya Award. It was Pal who had brought a 13-year-old Verma to archery before making him world champion in 2015 -- the first Indian to do so in the compound section. Verma achieved the feat again, winning the World Cup Stage 3 gold medal in Paris on Saturday.
The 49-year-old Indian archery legend Limba Ram has been battling a neurological disease in recent years. He had a successful stint as India chief coach since 2009 and under him, India won several medals, including three gold medals at the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games. Under him, India occupied the world number one ranking in men's recurve section, while ace archer Deepika Kumari also rose to the top spot for the first time in her career ahead of the 2012 London Olympics. Limba had won several international medals during his decorated career and was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 1991 and Padma Shri in 2012.