The Indian government has decided to award five sportsmen – Rohit Sharma, Rani Rampal, Vinesh Phogat, Manika Batra and Mariyappan Thangavelu – with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. The turn of events has invited controversy with the Indian government awarding five recipients in a non-Olympic year.
Even though the Tokyo Olympics has been pushed back by a year, it hasn’t bothered the Indian government much, with them set to award five sportsmen with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. Among the most prominent, Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma finds himself in the list, with him achieving great heights with the Indian cricket team. On the other hand, Indian women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal has been shortlisted for the same.
“It is an amazing feeling when your hard work is rewarded, and I believe this award will serve as a great motivation for me and players like me to keep striving for bigger feats and make the country proud,” said Rani Rampal, to Hockey India.
Wrestling sensation and 2018 Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Vinseh Phogat is the third on the list along with Table Tennis star Manika Batra, set to receive the Khel Ratna award from the Indian government on August 29, National Sports Day. 2016 Paralympic Gold medallist Mariyappan Thangavelu, is the fifth member on the list.
“I see this award as an added responsibility for me to continue performing well and I am looking forward to bringing more laurels to the country,” said Manika Batra, to IANS, from Pune.