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Indian athletes conferred with National Sports Awards by President Droupadi Murmu

President Droupadi Murmu bestowed the honour on 26 individuals in a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Indian athletes conferred with National Sports Awards by President Droupadi Murmu

Antim Panghal, Murali Sreeshankar, Aditi Gopichand Swami, Mohammad Hussamuddin, R Vaishali and Krishan Bahadur Pathak receiving Arjuna Award from President Droupadi Murmu


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 9 Jan 2024 11:09 AM GMT

Indian athletes have been conferred with the National Sports Awards on Tuesday by President Droupadi Murmu in a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.

Indian shuttlers Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty won the coveted Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award for their remarkable performances in 2023, when they won their maiden Asian Games gold -- a first for India in badminton --, while also clinching the Asian Championships title and the Indonesia Open Super 1000 title. No Indian doubles pair achieved these feats before Satwik-Chirag.

However, the badminton duo gave the award ceremony a miss as they are competing in the Malaysia Open, a BWF Super 1000 tournament in Kuala Lumpur.

The awards ceremony, usually held on August 29 to commemorate the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand, was deferred because of the Hangzhou Asian Games that were held from September 23 to October 8 last year.

Chirag and Satwik, who became world No.1 last year, would be aiming for an Olympic medal in Paris, having all but sealed qualification for the global showpiece later this year by being world No.2.

Other prominent names among the award winners were chess prodigy R Vaishali, shooter Esha Singh, wrestler Antim Panghal, para-archery sensation Sheetal Devi and cricketer Mohammed Shami.

Sheetal Devi, who won two gold medals in the Hangzhou Asian Games, is the first international para archer without upper limbs, caused by a rare condition called Phocomelia, to compete and win laurels at the Asiad.

Meanwhile, chess coach RB Ramesh, who has groomed R Praggnanandhaa, has been conferred with the Dronacharya award.

While the Khel Ratna comes with a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh, the Arjuna and Dronacharya awards dispense a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh each.

The National Sports Awards recipients (2023 awards):

Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award for 2023: Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (badminton).

Arjuna Awards: Ojas Pravin Deotale (archery), Aditi Gopichand Swami (archery), Murali Sreeshankar (athletics), Parul Chaudhary (athletics), Mohammad Hussamuddin (boxing), R Vaishali (chess), Mohammed Shami (cricket), Anush Agarwalla (equestrian), Divyakriti Singh (equestrian dressage), Diksha Dagar (golf), Krishan Bahadur Pathak (hockey), Sushila Chanu (hockey), Pawan Kumar (kabaddi), Ritu Negi (kabaddi), Nasreen (kho-kho), Pinki (lawn bowls), Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar (shooting), Esha Singh (shooting), Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (squash), Ayhika Mukherjee (table tennis), Sunil Kumar (wrestling), Antim Panghal (wrestling), Naorem Roshibina Devi (wushu), Sheetal Devi (para archery), Illuri Ajay Kumar Reddy (blind cricket), Prachi Yadav (para canoeing).

Dronacharya Award (regular category) for outstanding coaches: Lalit Kumar (wrestling), RB Ramesh (chess), Mahaveer Prasad Saini (para athletics), Shivendra Singh (hockey), Ganesh Prabhakar Devrukhkar (mallakhamb).

Dronacharya Award (life-time category) for outstanding coaches: Jaskirat Singh Grewal (golf), Bhaskaran E (kabaddi), Jayanta Kumar Pushilal (table tennis).

Dhyan Chand Award for lifetime achievement: Manjusha Kanwar (badminton), Vineet Kumar Sharma (hockey), Kavitha Selvaraj (kabaddi).

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2023: Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar (overall winner university); Lovely Professional University, Punjab (1st runner -up), Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra (2nd runner-up).

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