29th August is the birth date of field hockey great- Major Dhyan Chand and is celebrated as National Sports day in India. On this auspicious day, players are felicitated for their contribution in their respective sport.
Players from various sports like cricket, badminton, football, boxing, wrestling are honored at Rashtrapati Bhawan for their outstanding performance in sports and incredible achievements. This time a total of 32 players were awarded different awards. However, only 26 players were able to receive the award from the President. The remaining six players will later be awarded by Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju.
Among the players who did not receive the award include the world’s number one wrestler in 65 kg freestyle wrestling- Bajrang Punia, who has been selected for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award this time. Punia is currently in Russia and is engaged in preparations for the World Championship to be held in Kazakhstan from next month.
Apart from Bajrang, Arjuna Award cricketer Ravindra Jadeja, shooter Anjum Maudgil, para javelin thrower Sundar Singh Gurjar, Shotputer Tejinder Pal Singh Toor and his coach Mohinder Singh Dhillon selected for the Dronacharya Award were also in the list of absentees.
Full list of players who received national sports awards
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award: Deepa Malik (Para-Athletics), Bajrang Punia (Wrestling)
Arjuna Award– B Sai Praneeth(Badminton), Poonam Yadav(women’s cricketer), Swapna Barman(Athletics), Gurpreet Singh Sandhu(Indian football team goalkeeper), Sonia Lather(Boxer), Fouaad Mirza(Equestrian), Gaurav Gill(Motor sport) and Ajay Thakur(Kabaddi), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam(Hockey), Ravindra Jadeja(Cricket), Mohammad Anas Yahiya(Athletics), S Bhaskaran (Bodybuilding), Anjum Moudgil (Shooting), Tajinder Pal Singh Toor (Athletics), Pramod Bhagat (Para sports-badminton), Harmeet Rajul Desai (Table tennis), Pooja Dhanda (Wrestling), Simran Singh Shergill (Polo), Sundar Singh Gurjar (Para sports-athletics)
Dronacharya Award: Mohinder Singh Dhillon (athletics), Sandeep Gupta (table tennis) and Vimal Kumar (badminton).
Dronacharya Award (lifetime category): Sanjay Bhardwaj (cricket), Rambir Singh Khokar (kabaddi) and Mezban Patel (hockey).
Dhyan Chand Award: Manoj Kumar (wrestling), C Lalremsanga (archery), Arup Basak (table tennis), Nitten Kirrtane (tennis) and Manuel Fredricks (hockey).