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Know your Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award nominees for 2020

Know your Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award nominees for 2020

Suraj Iyer

Published: 12 Jun 2020 1:07 PM GMT

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is one of the most prestigious civilian awards. Sportspersons of various disciplines are nominated for making a contribution to the country. Mary Kom, Viswanathan Anand, Saina Nehwal and Sachin Tendulkar are some of the few people who have been recipients of this prestigious award. Due to the pandemic, nominations for the award had been extended and the following are the nominees for 2020.

Vinesh Phogat

Vinesh Phogat (Source: India_All Sports) Vinesh Phogat (Source: India_All Sports)

Vinesh Phogat is the cousin of Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari. Coming from a lineage of successful wrestlers and trained by senior Olympic coach Mahavir Singh Phogat, she has snagged many medals in various competitions like the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and World Championships. However the journey leading up to the laurels she has received today was very difficult as her father and cousins faced a lot of opposition from the community. She is currently competing in the 53kg weight category in order to avoid injuries faced previously. The 25 year old’s unstoppable streak of medals began in 2013 and still continues to date.

Manika Batra

Manika Batra (Source: Sportskeeda) Manika Batra (Source: Sportskeeda)

Manika Batra is a table tennis player who started playing table tennis at a young age and became one of India’s best. She ranks among the 50 most successful table tennis players in the world and has bagged several gold medals in the South Asian Games and the Commonwealth games. Modeling was something she pursued in her college days and received many offers from different agencies. However she dropped it midway to focus on table tennis and is now representing India in many international competitions. Manika is also the only Indian to have received The Breakthrough Star Award by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).

Rani Rampal

Rani Rampal (Image: TOI) Rani Rampal (Source: TOI)

Rani Rampal is very well known as the only hockey player to have won the World Games Athlete of the year award. She is also a Padma Shri awardee. Trained by Dronacharya award recipient Baldev Singh, she made her debut in senior year at the age of 14, making her the youngest player of the Indian Women’s Hockey team and has since been making strides as a team player and captain for 2018 Asian Games which won India a silver medal. GoSports Foundation, a nongovernmental organization provided her with the support in terms of money and otherwise which her family was struggling to provide.

Also read: Extremely honoured to be nominated for the Khel Ratna Award: Rani Rampal

Neeraj Chopra

Neeraj Chopra (Source - AFI) Neeraj Chopra (Source - AFI)

Neeraj Chopra is a track and field athlete who primarily competes in javelin throw. He is commercially managed by JSW Sports, an organization dedicated to maximizing potential of Indian athletes. The 22 year old is well known for setting the Indian national record for javelin throw at 88.06m and has won a string of gold medals for the country in competitions like Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Junior World Championships. Though after rigorous competitions, he suffered an injury which led to rehabilitation. This resulted in missing out an entire year but the champion made a comeback in an athletic meet in January 2020 which qualified him for the Olympics which were to be held in Tokyo.

Also read: Khel Ratna recommendation for Neeraj Chopra: AFI

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma (Source: Kyro Sports) Rohit Sharma (Source: Kyro Sports)

Rohit Sharma is the vice captain of Indian National team in Cricket who has also been named as ODI Cricketer of the Year by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The Arjuna awardee has scored 39 international centuries in the span of his career. In Twnty20 international cricket, he possesses world records for most career centuries and most career runs among many of his other records. He is also the captain of Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) who have won four times under his leadership. He is the third highest run scorer in IPL after Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina. Rohit Sharma has not only been known for his athletic feats but also for his philanthropic endeavors, supporting causes for health, animal welfare and children.

Vikas Krishan

Vikas Krishnan (Source: TOI) Vikas Krishnan (Source: TOI)

Vikas Krishan is an Indian boxer who made his international debut in Asian Youth Boxing Championships in 2010 and scored a gold medal. With gloves on at an early age of 10, he has been unstoppable in the lightweight, welterweight and middleweight divisions and has scored several medals in Asian Games, World Championships and Commonwealth Games. After a preliminary loss in the London Olympics 2012, he took time off from boxing and focused on finishing his education and trained with the Haryana State Police to become an official. He made his comeback to boxing in 2014. He also made his professional boxing debut in January of 2019 with American based company Top Rank. He secured a victory after defeating Japan's Sewon Okazawa which gave him his entry into the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Amit Panghal

Amit Panghal (Source: BFI) Amit Panghal (Source: BFI)

Amit Panghal is a boxer who started training after being inspired by his army brother. Competing in the flyweight and light flyweight divisions, he has secured several medals for India in Asian Championships, Commonwealth Games and World Champions. He is also a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) who served in the Indian Army in 2018. The pugilist qualified for Olympics 2020 that were to be held in Tokyo after defeating Carlo Paalam of Philippines in March.

Hima Das

Hima Das Hima Das (Source: IAAF)

Hima Das is India’s pride in sprinting. Having received the prestigious Arjuna award at a very young age, she has won a total of 3 gold medals; two in the Asian games and once in the World U20 Championships. She became a high school graduate from her school in Assam in May 2019. The sprinter has also won a silver medal in the Asian Games’ 4 x 400m relay which was implemented for the first time which was later upgraded to gold due to doping violations from the Kenyan team. She was named to participate in the World Athletic Championships which were held in October 2019 but had to drop the plan a month prior to the competition due to a back injury. Having started at a very young age, she is one of India’s hopes for Olympic laurels in the future.

Srikanth Kidambi

Kidambi Srikanth Kidambi Srikanth (Image: BWF)

Srikanth Kidambi is a badminton player from Andhra Pradesh who represents India in badminton. He has won many medals; a total of 4 gold medals. One in the Commonwealth Games that happened in 2018 and three in South Asian Games held in 2016 and 2019. He became the first Indian man in badminton to win gold at the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold. He is trained by veteran coach Pullela Gopichand and is also a Padma Shri awardee.

The recipient of the Khel Ratna award not only receives a cash prize but has their name engraved in Indian sports history to making a contribution in the various sports disciplines. They set an example for aspiring athletes who wish to represent our country in Olympics and many other events.

Also read: FMSCI ignores its biggest star Jehan Daruvala from Arjuna Awards nominations

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