Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, weightlifter Mirabai Chanu and wrestler Bajrang Punia are in the line of getting the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award this year for their outstanding contribution to Indian sports. This year the award ceremony will be held on September 25 instead of August 29.
A committee constituted by the Sports Ministry will recommend the names of athletes for the coveted award. The ministry has also formed a committee for the Dhyanchand and Dronacharya Awards. The awards which are presented in a ceremony on National Sports Day i.e August 29 every year was postponed because of the Asian Games in Indonesia.
Neeraj Chopra has been one of the most successful athletes of the country in 2018 as he bagged gold in javelin throw both at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games while Bajrang also did the same by making it two in two at the prestigious championships in men’s 65 kg freestyle wrestling. Wrestling world champion Mirabai won women’s 48 kg weightlifting gold at the CWG- 2018 but didn’t participate in the Asian Games because of her lower back problem.
The change in policy and rescheduling of the dates have allowed successful athletes from Commonwealth Games and recently-concluded Asian Games to send their recommendations for the awards.