After winning accolades for their performances in the Rio Olympics 2016, Sakshi Malik, P V Sindhu, Jitu Rai and Dipa Karmakar are to receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. The Khel Ratna is the highest honour bestowed upon a sportsperson in the country. Meanwhile, Dipa Karmakar’s coach Bisheswar Nandi will also be awarded the Dronacharya award for his excellence in the coaching of Dipa despite poor support from the government.
Virat Kohli's coach Raj Kumar Sharma will also got the Dronacharya Award.
PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik were the only medallists in Rio Olympics. While Sindhu became the first Indian woman ever to win a silver medal at the Olympics, Sakshi was the first Indian woman ever to win a wrestling medal (bronze) at the Summer Games.
Woman gymnast Karmakar, who created history by entering the vault final at the Rio Olympics before finishing fourth, and ace shooter Rai were earlier recommended for Khel Ratna Award by the selection panel appointed by the Sports Ministry.
Others to receive the Dronacharya Award are: Nagapuri Ramesh (athletics), Sagar Mal Dhayal (boxing), Pradeep Kumar (swimming - lifetime) and Mahabir Singh (wrestling - lifetime).
Besides, the Ministry also selected 15 athletes for this year's Arjuna Award. The notable names in the list are boxer Shiva Thapa, long distance runner Lalita Babar, cricketer Ajinkya Rahane, hockey players VR Raghunath and Rani Rampal among others.
The Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to Satti Geetha (athletics), Sylvanus Dung Dung (hockey) and Rajendra Pralhad Shelke (rowing).
Besides, the Punjabi University of Patiala will be awarded the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2015-16.
The National Sports Awards are given every year to recognise and reward excellence in sports.
The Khel Ratna Award is given for spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years. Apart from a medal and a citation, the Khel Ratna Awardee will receive a cash prize of Rs 7.5 lakh.