Devendra Jhajharia, Sardar Singh recommended for Khel Ratna; Harmanpreet Kaur, Cheteshwar Pujara for Arjuna awards

New Delhi: The award selection committe today, recommended names of Paralympian Devendra Jhajharia and former Hockey India captain Sardar Singh for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awards, while cricketers Cheteshwar Pujara, Harmanpreet Kaur were listed among 17 sportspersons for Arjuna awards.

Jhajharia had won a gold medal in men’s javelin throw F46 category in the Rio Paralympics, becoming the most successful Indian para athlete ever. The 35-year-old, a left-hand amputee, is the only Indian para athlete to have won two gold medals in the Paralympics, the earlier one being the yellow metal he won in 2004 Athens.

Sardar, on the other hand, has been an ever-present pivot in Hockey India’s recent resurgence. He made his debut for India in the junior team during India’s tour to Poland in 2003 04.

 In 2006, he graduated to the senior side making debut against Pakistan. Known for his high fitness levels not only in India but worldwide, Sardar was included in the 18-men FIH All Star team in 2010 and 2011.

He was the youngest player to captain the Indian team when he led the side at the 2008 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. He has also received the Arjuna Award in 2012 and Padma Shri in 2015.

The awards selection committee has listed 17 names for the Arjuna award.

The list includes cricketer men’s team Test regular Cheteshwar Pujara, women’s team World Cup star Harmanpreet Kaur, Paralympic medallists Mariyappan Thangavelu and Varun Bhati, golfer SSP Chawrasia and hockey player S V Sunil.

The Sports Ministery, however, is yet to confirm the names.

Last year, PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Dipa Karmakar and Jitu Rai were honoured with the Khel Ratna awards. It was the first time the Khel Ratna was awarded to four sportspersons.

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