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Sakshi Malik and Mirabai Chanu not to be conferred with Arjuna Award

Sports ministry removes Khel Ratna winning duo's name from Arjuna recommendation list

Sakshi Malik
Mirabai Chanu (left) and Sakshi Malik

Wrestler Sakshi Malik and weightlifter Mirabai Chanu will not be bestowed with Arjuna Award this year. The sports ministry on Friday decided against conferring the Rajiv Gandi Khel Ratna winning duo with the sporting honour.

With their exclusion, the award-committee recommendation list is now trimmed down to 27 athletes. Khel Ratna award recommendation also saw no further inclusion or exclusion.

Last week the committee recommended 29 athletes for Arjuna to the sports ministry.

2016 Olympic bronze winner Sakshi and 2017 IWLF world champion Mirabai were also included in the list. Interestingly, the Justice (retd) Mukundakam Sharma-led committee left the duo’s name for acceptance to the discretion of Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju.

The committee reportedly felt that including Sakshi and Mirabai will come at a cost of two deserving candidates.

Their inclusion attracted much criticism given they have already won the highest sporting honour. Back in May, Sakshi and Mirabai gave their applications for Arjuna citing that state governments don’t recognise the Khel Ratna for jobs and other perks.

Rohit and four others to be conferred with Khel Ratna

Vinesh Phogat (left) and Rohit Sharma

Indian opener Rohit Sharma and four others are now set to be conferred with the prestigious Khel Ratna, confirmed ministry. Other stars are Vinesh Phogat, T Mariyappan, Manika Batra and Rani Rampal.

Earlier triple jumper Arpinder Singh has made his resentment apparent to First Sportz on being ignored for Arjuna. But the ministry made no further inclusion to the Arjuna awardee list.

Also, 13 coaches will be conferred with Dronacharya Award. The Dronacharya list included eight coaches in lifetime category while five in regular category. In a first, the awards will be held virtually on August 29, the National Sports Day, instead of the Rashtrapati Bhavan this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also Read: Firstsportz Exclusive – Arpinder Singh Expresses Surprise at Arjuna Award 2020 Snub