The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) on Wednesday recommended the Sports Ministry to award the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award to star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra. AFI has selected Neeraj Chopra for Khel Ratna for the third consecutive year and India's fastest runner Duti Chand for the Arjuna Award. Apart from Duti, the names of Arpinder Singh (Triple Jump), Manjeet Singh (800m) and defending Asia Champion PU Chitra, who won the gold medal in the Jakarta Asiad for the Arjuna Award, have been recommended.
The panel set up by the Sports Ministry will sort the nominations received from various national federations. The selected players will be awarded these on 29 August (National Sports Day). The Sports Ministry has extended the date for submission of applications for the National Sports Awards till 22 June. Along with this, players have also been allowed to enroll themselves in view of the difficulties faced by the proposer in the lockdown implemented due to Corona virus epidemic.
Wednesday was the last day to complete the nomination process, but the deadline was extended. Concessions have also been granted in the process. A circular of the ministry said, “We have abolished the rule of submitting only the applications sent on the recommendation of officers or individuals in the award scheme.” This part in the form can be left blank. '
The ministry had invited applications through email only this year due to the epidemic. Under the rules of sports award application, only those applications are valid for which the National Federation, Sports Board or former awardees have recommended. Now after the concession, even those players whose names have not been sent by the National Sports Federation. They also lack support from former winners. These awards are given every year on the occasion of National Sports Day on 29 August on the birthday of the great hockey player Major Dhyanchand.
Let us know that Neeraj Chopra has qualified for Tokyo Olympics. He won the gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Neeraj also won a gold medal in the 2018 Asian Games. That year his name was recommended for Khel Ratna. Neeraj is the first Indian javelin thrower to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.