New Delhi, Aug 29, 2020-
Table tennis star Manika Batra and cricketer Deepti Sharma were among those who were presented the National Sports Awards by President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Batra, alongwith Indian women’s hockey captain Rani Rampal and 2016 Rio Paralympics gold medallist Mariyappan Thangavelu were presented the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
Kovind said that India would eventually emerge as a great power in the field of sports and find a place in top ten countries that win medals in the 2028 Olympics.
“I am sure we will achieve this target” he said while addressing a gathering of officials, sportspersons and trainers from 11 different centres across the country including, Bengaluru, Pune, Sonepat, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Lucknow, Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal, Hyderabad and Itanagar.
The President also acknowledged the impact of the pandemic on the sports world. He however, expressed happiness that players and coaches have been connected through online coaching and webinars.
Deepti meanwhile was conferred the Arjuna, as were Atanu Das (archery), Chirag Shetty (badminton), Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (basketball), Manish Kaushik and Lovlina Bograhain (boxing), Sawant Ajay Anant (Equestrian), Sandesh Jhingan (football), Akashdeep Singh(hockey), Deepak (kabaddi), Kale Sarika Sudhakar (kho kho), Dattu Baban Bhokanal (rowing), Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker (Shooting), Madhurika Suhas Patkar (table tennis), Divya Kakran and Rahul Aware (wrestling), Shiva Keshavan (luge), Suyash Narayan Jadhav (para swimming), Sandeep (para athletics) and Manish Narwal (para shooting).
Shooting coach Jaspal Rana, who is credited with overseeing the careers of the likes of Saurabh and Manu and thus playing a major role in India’s recent dominance in the sport, is among nine coaches who have been conferred the Dronacharya Award in the regular category. Yogesh Malviya (Mallakhamb), Jude Felix Sebastian (Hockey), Kuldeep Kumar Handoo (Wushu), and Gaurav Khanna (Para Badminton) were also conferred the Dronacharya.
Meanwhile Dharmendra Tiwary (archery), Purushotham Rai (athletics), Shiv Singh (boxing), Romesh Pathania (hockey), Krishan Kumar Hooda (kabaddi) and Vijay Bhalchandra Munishwar (para powerlifting) received the Dronacharya Lifetime award.
Kuldip Singh Bhullar (athletics), Jincy Philips (athletics), Pradeep Shrikrishna Gandhe (badminton), Trupti Murgunde (badminton), N Usha (boxing), Ajit Singh (hockey), Manpreet Singh (kabaddi), J Ranjith Kumar (para athletics), Satyaprakash Tiwari (para badminton), Manjeet Singh (rowing), Late Sachin Nag (swimming), Nandan P Bal (tennis) and Netarpal Hooda (wrestling) were conferred the Dhyan Chand Award.
The Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards were conferred to Anita Devi (Land Adventure), Col Sarfraz Singh (Land Adventure), Taka Tamut (Land Adventure), Keval Hiren Kakka (Land Adventure), Satendra Singh (Water Adventure) and Late Magan Bissa (Life Time Achievement).
Panjab University won the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy. Pune’s Army Sport Institute, Lakshya Institute, Delhi’s ONGC, Air Force Sports Control Board, and International Institute of Sports Management (IISM) in Mumbai were conferred the Rahstriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar. (Agency)