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Virat Kohli, Mirabai Chanu bask in Khel Ratna glory; Neeraj, Manika, Hima bag Arjuna - Photos

Virat Kohli, Mirabai Chanu bask in Khel Ratna glory; Neeraj, Manika, Hima bag Arjuna - Photos

New Delhi, Sep 25: Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli and star female weightlifter Mirabai Chanu were conferred the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awards 2018 by President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday (September 25) at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Virat Kohli, weightlifter Mirabai Chanu receive Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna

The President also conferred the Arjuna Awards to the sportspersons for their valuable contributions in their respective fields. Star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who won gold medals in the Commonwealth and Asian Games this year, and junior world champion sprinter Hima Das were among the 20 sportspersons who received the Arjuna Awards from President Ram Nath Kovind here.

The ceremony, which is traditionally held on August 29 to commemorate the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand, was pushed to September 25 this year to avoid a clash of dates with the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang on September 2.

Kohli was accompanied by his actor wife Anushka Sharma, his mother Saroj Kohli and his elder brother Vikas at the ceremony.

Kohli is the third cricketer to be honoured with the Khel Ratna after batting legend Sachin Tendulkar (1997-1998) and former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2007)

The world's No.1 Test batsman as per the ICC rankings has been in stupendous form in the past three years though he missed out of the top award despite nominations in 2016 and 2017.

The 29-year-old Kohli has 6147 runs in 71 Tests with 23 centuries and 9779 runs in 211 ODIs, including 35 tons. Kohli received the Arjuna award in 2013 and the Padma Shri last year.

Sharing the top honours with him was Chanu, who had received the Padma Shri earlier this year, was chosen for the Khel Ratna following her gold medal in 48kg category at the World Weightlifting Championships last year.

She also bagged the yellow metal in this year's Commonwealth Games but didn't compete at the Asian Games due to injury.

While the Khel Ratna award carries a prize purse of Rs 7.5 lakh, the Arjuna awardees are given Rs 5 lakh each along with a citation.

Besides the Khel Ratna and Arjuna awards, the President also gave away Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand awards to coaches, the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure awards, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy and Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar.


Virat Kohli - Khel Ratna

Virat Kohli - Khel Ratna

President Ram Nath Kovind confers Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award on cricketer Virat Kohli at the National Sports and Adventure Award 2018 function at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.

Mirabai Chanu - Khel Ratna

Mirabai Chanu - Khel Ratna

President Ram Nath Kovind confers Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award on weightlifter Mirabai Chanu at the National Sports and Adventure Award 2018 function at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi, Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018.

Savita - Arjuna Award (Hockey)

Savita - Arjuna Award (Hockey)

President Ram Nath Kovind presents Arjuna Award to hockey player Savita at the National Sports and Adventure Award 2018 function at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.

Colonel Ravi Rathore - Polo

Colonel Ravi Rathore - Polo

President Ram Nath Kovind presents Arjuna Award to polo player Col Ravi Rathore at the National Sports and Adventure Award 2018 function at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.

Shubhankar Sharma - Golf

Shubhankar Sharma - Golf

President Ram Nath Kovind presents Arjuna Award to Shubhankar Sharma at the National Sports and Adventure Award 2018 function at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi, Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018.

Ankur Dhama - Para Athlete

Ankur Dhama - Para Athlete

President Ram Nath Kovind presents Arjuna Award to para-athlete Ankur Dhama at the National Sports and Adventure Award 2018 function at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.

Manika Batra - Table Tennis

Manika Batra - Table Tennis

President Ram Nath Kovind presents Arjuna Award to table tennis player Manika Batra at the National Sports and Adventure Award 2018 function at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.

Shreyasi Singh - Shooting

Shreyasi Singh - Shooting

President Ram Nath Kovind presents Arjuna Award to shooter Shreyasi Singh at the National Sports and Adventure Award 2018 function at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi, Tuesday.

Rahi Sarnobat - Shooting

Rahi Sarnobat - Shooting

President Ram Nath Kovind presents Arjuna Award to shooter Rahi Sarnobat at the National Sports and Adventure Award 2018 function at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.

Manpreet Singh - Hockey

Manpreet Singh - Hockey

President Ram Nath Kovind presents Arjuna Award to hockey player Manpreet Singh at the National Sports and Adventure Award 2018 function at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.

Satish Kumar - Boxing

Satish Kumar - Boxing

President Ram Nath Kovind presents Arjuna Award to boxer Satish Kumar at the National Sports and Adventure Award 2018 function at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.

Hima Das - Athletics

Hima Das - Athletics

President Ram Nath Kovind presents Arjuna Award to athlete Hima Das at the National Sports and Adventure Award 2018 function at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.

Jinson Johnson - Athletics

Jinson Johnson - Athletics

President Ram Nath Kovind presents Arjuna Award to athlete Naib Subedar Jinson Johnson at the National Sports and Adventure Award 2018 function at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.


The awards, like every year, copped a fair share of controversies with wrestler Bajrang Punia's threat to take legal action over Khel Ratna snub being the most prominent one. He eventually backed down after meeting Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

Before this, the Sports Ministry struck off compound archery coach Jiwanjot Singh Teja's name from the list of Dronacharya awardees due to a past case of indiscipline. Teja resigned from his position to express his angst.

The Dronacharya Award was presented to eight coaches this year, including cricket mentor Tarak Sinha and 39-year-old boxing coach C A Kuttappa, who was credited by Vijender Singh for his historic Olympic bronze in 2008.

The Dhyan Chand Award for lifetime sporting achievement was given to four former athletes.

Among the notable absentees was cricketer Smriti Mandhana, who was to receive the Arjuna award but is currently with the Indian women's team on its tour of Sri Lanka.

List of Awardees:

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award: Virat Kohli and Mirabai Chanu.

Arjuna Awards: Neeraj Chopra, Jinson Johnson and Hima Das (Athletics); N Sikki Reddy (Badminton); Satish Kumar (Boxing); Smriti Mandhana (Cricket); Shubhankar Sharma (Golf); Manpreet Singh, Savita (Hockey), Ravi Rathore (Polo), Rahi Sarnobat, Ankur Mittal, Shreyasi Singh (Shooting); Manika Batra, G Sathiyan (Table Tennis); Rohan Bopanna (Tennis); Sumit (Wrestling); Pooja Kadian (Wushu); Ankur Dhama (Para-Athletics); Manoj Sarkar (Para-Badminton).

Dronacharya Awards: C A Kuttappa (Boxing); Vijay Sharma (Weightlifting); A Srinivasa Rao (Table Tennis); Sukhdev Singh Pannu (Athletics); Clarence Lobo (Hockey, Lifetime); Tarak Sinha (Cricket, Lifetime); Jiwan Kumar Sharma (Judo, Lifetime); V R Beedu (Athletics, Lifetime).

Dhyan Chand Awards: Satyadev Prasad (Archery); Bharat Kumar Chetry (Hockey); Bobby Aloysius (Athletics); Chougale Dadu Dattatray (Wrestling).

Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar 2018:

1. Identification and Nurturing of Budding & Young Talent: Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited.

2. Encouragement to Sports through Corporate Social Responsibility: JSW Sports

3. Sports for Development: Isha Outreach

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2017-18: Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.

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    Story first published: Wednesday, September 26, 2018, 3:33 [IST]
    Other articles published on Sep 26, 2018
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