The coveted Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna is unlikely to be bestowed upon any sportsperson this year as the Selection Committee has decided not to recommend any names for the award, a first in the country’s history.
Athletes Vikas Gowda, Krishna Poonia, Somdev Devvarman, Jeev Milkha Singh, PV Sindhu and Devendra Jhajariya were shortlisted for the country’s highest sporting award.
Former cricketer Kapil Dev is heading the Selection Committee for Arjuna and Khel Ratna awardees.
Even as the Khel Ratna is not likely to be conferred on any sportsperson, 15 sportspersons have been recommended by the Selection Committee for the Arjuna Award.
These include Akhilesh Varma (Archery), Tintu Luka (Athletics), HN Girisha (Paralympics), V Diju (Badminton), Geetu Ann Jose (Basketball), Jai Bhagwan (Boxing), R Ashwin (Cricket), Anirban Lahiri (Golf), Mamta Pujari (Kabaddi), Saji Thomas (Rowing), Heena Sidhu (Shooting), Anaka Alankamany (Squash), Tom Joseph (Volleyball), Renubala Chanu (Weightlifting) and Sunil Rana (Wrestling).