Sports News, Nation, (New Delhi), April 28:-The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has recommended Commonwealth Games gold medal winning javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra for the country’s highest sporting honour – the Khel Ratna Award.
In addition to the Khel Ratna, Chopra, 20, has also been nominated for the Arjuna Award by the federation besides javelin thrower Annu Rani and four time Commonwealth Games medalist Seema Antil Punia.
Bahadur Singh, Chairman of Arujna Award recommendation committee of AFI, said, “Seema deserves an Arjuna Award. She is one of the greatest and most consistent athlete India has produced. Her four-consecutive gold medals at Commonwealth Games prove that.”
The federation has also nominated legendary athlete turned coach PT Usha for the Dronacharya Award. India youth team coach, Sanjay Garnaik, has also been recommended for the Dronacharya Award.
PT Usha’s Dronacharya Award nomination comes 34 years after she won both the Arjuna Award as well as the Padma Shri award for her achievement on the track – she had finished fourth at the 1984 Olympics.
Usha who remains one of India’s most accomplished athletes with 11 medals at the Asian Games, had retired in 2000 with a promise to nurture a new crop of athletes.
The Usha school of athletics, formed in 2002 has consistently managed to produce athletes for the country. It’s most successful athlete has been 800m runner Tintu Luka. Luka has won two gold medals at the Asian Championships and also a gold medal in the women’s 4x400m relay and silver in the 800m at the 2014 Asian Games. Usha has continued producing athletes of excellence with Asian Junior champion Jisna Mathews, the latest in the production line of excellence.
For Dhyanchand Award, the names of Boby Aloysis, Kuldeep Singh Bhullar and Jata Shankar have been recommended to the ministry by AFI while TP Ouseph is nominated for Life Time Achievement Award.
-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)