In a measure to boost athlete's confidence ahead of the Rio Olympics, the Sports ministry has declared that the medalists from the Games will be considered for this year's Arjuna and Khel Ratna awards. With multiple medal hopefuls this time around, Olympians could well dominate the awards this year.
While awards and laurels in India normally do not reach the athletes in time, the move to guarantee instant recognition is a welcome gesture. “Medal winners in team events, who have played stellar roles in the medal won by the team for the country in Rio Olympics 2016 such as number of goals scored, number of goals saved etc., and who have already not been conferred with Arjuna Award in the past will be considered for Arjuna Awards,” the Ministry said, reported PTI.
However, stars Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal and others who have already received the Khel Ratna would not be in contention for the award even if they bring home medals given the award is a one-time honor.
The Khel Ratna and the Arjuna award committees take into account the achievements of the sportspersons over the past four years in their decision to confer them on the athletes.