Devendra

Khel Ratna for Devendra Jhajharia; Arjuna Award for Pujara  

New Delhi: Paralympic javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia and former Indian hockey captain Sardar Singh have been recommended for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the country’s highest honour for sportspersons.

Cricketers Cheteshwar Pujara and Harmanpreet Kaur, Paralympic medallists Mariyappan Thangavelu and Varun Bhati, and golfer SSP Chawrasia include in the list of 17 Arjuna awradees this year.

Sardar Singh is considered one of modern hockey’s finest defensive mid-fielders ever. He has led India to two successive silver medal finishes in the Commonwealth Games.

He was also the captain of the team when India won the bronze medal in the 2015 Hockey World League. He was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, in 2015.

Two-time Paralympic gold-medallist Devendra Jhajharia became the first paralympian to be recommended for the country’s highest sporting honour. He won the gold medal in the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

The 36-year-old Devendra, who is the first Indian to win two Paralympic gold medals, was the first choice of the awards selection committee headed by Justice (Retd) C.K. Thakkar. Devendra had won his medals in the javelin throw event.

The final call on this would be taken by the Sports Ministry. Besides, the awards selection committee has recommended 17 names for the Arjuna award.