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Sania recommended for Khel Ratna

Sania recommended for Khel Ratna
Sania, currently ranked world number one in women’s doubles, scripted history by becoming the first Indian to clinch a women’s doubles Grand Slam when she partnered Swiss great Martina Hingis for the Wimbledon trophy earlier this year.

Sania is only the second tennis player after Leander Paes to be named for the top award. Paes had been bestowed the honour way back in 1996 after his bronze medal in the Atlanta Olympics. The 28-year-old, who has won three mixed doubles Grand Slams in her career, beat competition from squash player Deepika Pallikal, discus thrower Vikas Gowda, track and field star Tintu Luka, rising shuttler P V Sindhu, and hockey captain Sardar Singh for the coveted honour. Sania’s name was recommended by a Sports Ministry- constituted awards committee headed by Justice V K Bali, the retired Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court.

The committee included eminent athletes such as Dola Banerjee, <g data-gr-id="56">M M</g> <g data-gr-id="38">Somayya</g> and Bhogeshwar Baruah and sports journalists apart from top officials of the Sports Ministry.

It is learnt that the committee recommended 17 names for the Arjuna awards, including those of Jitu, Rohit, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, hockey player P R Sreejesh, wrestling duo of Bajrang and Babita, athlete M R Poovamma, shuttler K Srikanth and boxer Mandeep Jangra. 

The recommendations will now be sent to the Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who will take a final decision.Only after the Sports Minister signs the file, the names would be made public. The awards are to be given away by the President Pranab Mukherjee on August 29, the National Sports Day. The Khel Ratna carries a prize money of Rs 7.5 lakh along with a <g data-gr-id="63">citation,</g> while the Arjuna awards come with a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh and a citation. Besides doing well on the professional circuit, Sania had also won the gold medal and the bronze medal in the mixed and women’s doubles categories of the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. 

The Hyderabadi girl had won the Arjuna award in 2004 and was the favourite for the top award this year. In 2006, she was bestowed the Padma Shri -- the country’s fourth highest <g data-gr-id="39">civillian</g> honour. Sania’s mixed doubles trophies had come in the Australian Open (2009), French Open (2012) and US Open (2014).

Rohit has been India’s batting mainstay in the ODIs and became the highest individual scorer with a knock of 264 against Sri Lanka last year. Jitu, on the other hand, has been in splendid form, winning seven international medals in the last one year besides an Olympic quota berth.

Sreejesh was recommended for his outstanding show as India’s goalkeeper. He was part of the team that won the Asian Games gold medal last year, which also fetched the side a direct qualification for next year’s Olympics. <g data-gr-id="41">Dipa</g> has been rewarded for becoming the first Indian woman gymnast to win a medal at the Commonwealth <g data-gr-id="60">Games,</g> while boxer Mandeep has been recommended for his silver medals in the Commonwealth Games. 

Khel Ratna recommendation ‘most amazing’
Tennis star Sania Mirza on Tuesday reacted with delight at her being recommended for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, describing it as the “most amazing” development.Sania on Tuesday became only the second tennis player to be recommended for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna after a Sports Ministry appointed selection panel named her for the top sporting award of the country. “Whooaa waking up in Toronto to the most amazing news from back home.. Thank <g data-gr-id="103">you</g> <g data-gr-id="104">everyone ..</g> Thank you so much,” Sania, who is taking part in a tournament in Toronto, tweeted. Currently ranked world number one in women’s doubles, Sania scripted history by becoming the first Indian to clinch a women’s doubles Grand Slam when she partnered Swiss great Martina Hingis for the Wimbledon trophy earlier this year. 

The 28-year-old, who has won three mixed doubles Grand Slams in her career, beat competition from squash player Deepika Pallikal, discus thrower Vikas Gowda, track and field star Tintu Luka, rising shuttler P V Sindhu, and hockey captain Sardar Singh for the coveted honour. Sania’s name was recommended by a Sports Ministry- constituted awards committee headed by Justice V K Bali, the retired Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court. The list of sportspersons recommended for Arjuna awards: P R Sreejesh (hockey), Dipa Karmakar (gymnastics), Jitu Rai (shooting), Sandeep Kumar (archery), Mandeep Jangra (boxing), Babita (wrestling), Bajrang (wrestling), Rohit Sharma (cricket), K Srikanth (badminton) and Swarn Singh Virk.

Agencies

Agencies

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