As the nation celebrated 'National Sports Day', President Ram Nath Kovind presented the most prestigious Arjuna Award to India's top athletes. Around 17 players from various sports will receive the award.
As the nation celebrated ‘National Sports Day’, President Ram Nath Kovind presented the most prestigious Arjuna Award to India’s top athletes. Around 17 players from various sports will receive the award. The award was instituted in 1961 and carries a cash prize of Rs 500,000, a bronze statue of Arjuna and a scroll. Over the years the scope of the award has been expanded and a large number of sports persons who belonged to the pre-Arjuna Award era were also included in the list. Further, the number of disciplines for which the award was given have been increased to include indigenous games and the physically handicapped category. The Government has recently revised the scheme for the Arjuna Award. As per the revised guidelines, to be eligible for the Award, a sportsperson should not only have had good performance consistently for the previous four years at the international level with excellence for the year for which the Award is recommended, but should also have shown qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline. Here are the Arjuna Award winners for 2017:
Here are the Arjuna Award winners for 2017:
Cheteshwar Pujara (Cricket): He made his Test debut in 2010 and recently played his 50th Test during the second game of the three match Test series against Sri Lanka. However, due to his county commitments, Pujara could not make it to the ceremony.
Harmanpreet Kaur (Cricket): She played a pivotal role for Indian team that ended runners-up in the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup. Moreover, Harmanpreet has become a household name in recent times with her consistent showing on the cricket field. She was the first Indian to play in the Big Bash League.
Devendro Singh (Boxing): The boxer’s biggest achievement was winning the silver at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014. He has been representing the country for over a decade now.
Thangavelu Mariyappan (Para Athlete): He won gold at the 2016 Rio Paralympics in high jump and in the process became the first Indian to win gold since 2004.
Anthony Amalraj (Table Tennis): Anthony has been a constant threat for table tennis star Sharath Kamal and has time and again given the star a run for his money. But interestingly the Tamil Nadu born athlete paired with Kamal and won silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Jyothi Surekha Vennam (Archery): A swimmer who turned archer, Jyothi has been a consistent performer, having won an individual gold in the 2015 Asian Championship.
Prashanti Singh (Basketball): One of the most well-known faces in women’s basketball, she made her debut for the country in 2002 and represented India at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games in 2010 and 2014.
Shiv Chawrasia (Golf): In 2008, he won the Indian Masters and also has eight title on the Indian Tour. He made his Asian Tour debut in 2006 and has won six titles since.
Oinam Bembem Devi (Football): She is the second woman footballer after Shanti Mullick to receive the prestigious award. She was a member of the Indian team that won gold at the 2016 South Asian Games.
Jasvir Singh (Kabaddi): He has been a vital cog of the national team and was also a member of the team that finished with a gold in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games and the 2016 World Cup.
Khushbir Kaur (Athletics): She made the headlines when she won the bronze in the 10km race walk at the Asian Junior Championship. She then went on to win a silver at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon.
Rajiv Arokia (Athletics): Arokia won bronze in the 2014 Asian Games and finished second in the Asian championships in Bhubaneswar last month. The 400m runner has been a consistent performer.
SV Sunil (Hockey): The hockey star was adjudicated Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) Player of the Year in 2016. Having made his international debut in 2007, he has been an integral member of the national team.
Saketh Myneni (Tennis): There has been a lot of debate on whether Rohan Bopanna should have been handed the award, but the jury went with the Davis Cupper won two medals at 2014 Incheon Asian Games.
Satyawart Kadian (Wrestling): He first represented India at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and ended up with the bronze medal. He recently won a gold at the 2016 Commonwealth Championship.
Prakash Nanjappa (Shooting): The pistol shooter won bronze in the 10m air pistol at the 2013 World Cup, then won silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and followed it up with a team bronze at the Incheon Asian Games.
Varun Bhati (Para Athlete): The high jumper picked bronze at the 2016 Paralympic Games and once again he claimed bronze at the World Para Athletics Championships in London.
Meanwhile, Nita Ambani also received the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Award 2017 for Reliance Foundation Youth Sports from Ramnath Kovind at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan.