A 12-member selection committee has recommended wrestler Bajrang Punia, two-time World Championships medallist, and para-athlete Deepa Malik, silver medallist at the Rio Paralympics in 2016, for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.
Rifle shooter Anjum Moudgil has been recommended for the Arjuna Award. It came as a pleasant surprise for the Chandigarh girl, who is employed with Punjab Police, but there’s a bit of regret too. “I’m really happy to get the award, but I won’t be here to receive it (on August 29) because I will be in Rio for the World Cup.”
Anjum is among 19 sportspersons nominated for the prestigious Arjuna Award. The list includes cricketer Ravindra Jadeja and several sportspersons from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
Moga shot-putter Tejinderpal Singh Toor, who won gold at last year’s Asian Games and this year’s Asian Championships, is among the nominees. Wrestler Pooja Dhanda of Hisar, winner of bronze at last year’s World Championships, is also on the list.
Indian football team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who was born in Chamkaur Sahib and was coached in the early part of his career in the Tricity, has also been nominated for the award. Sonia Lather from Jind, silver medallist at the 2017 Asian Championships, is the lone boxer on the list. Himachal kabaddi star Ajay Thakur, the captain of the Indian team, has also been rewarded for his feats, which include the Asian Games gold in 2014 and bronze in 2018. Delhi’s Gaurav Singh Gill has become the first from the field of motorsports to be nominated for Arjuna Award.