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National Sports Awards: Khel Ratna for Sania; Arjuna for Sreejesh

August12/ 2015

World No. 1 doubles tennis player Sania Mirza has been recommended for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna – the the country’s highest sporting honour – by a 12-member selection committee headed by retired chief justice V.K. Bali here on Tuesday.

She is the first Indian woman to achieve the number one rankings in doubles along with a string of victories in major tournaments, including Wimbledon where she triumphed in the company of  Martina Hingis. Sania also bagged the gold medal and the bronze medal in the mixed and women’s doubles categories of the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon.

Indian hockey team goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh has been selected for the Arjuna Award. The 27-year-old from Kerala is the vice-captain of the team and fashioned India’s triumph in last year’s Asian Games in Incheon. He was also part of the team which won silver in last year’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Athlete M.R. Poovamma, boxer Sarita Devi, cricketer Rohit Sharma, kabaddi players M. Abhilash and Manjit Chillar, wrestler Bajrang, and ace shooter Jitu Rai also were chosen for the prestigious award.

The National Sports Awards will be presented by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on August 29, the birth anniversary of hockey legend Dhyan Chand.