Olympic medallists win India’s top sports award
NEW DELHI: Pistol shooter Vijay Kumar and wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt were on Wednesday presented with India’s top sports award after winning medals at the London Olympics.
Kumar, who won a silver, and bronze medallist Dutt received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (sports jewel) award from President Pranab Mukherjee at a ceremony in New Delhi.
The award, named after the assassinated former Prime Minister, carries a medal, citation and a cash prize of 750,000 rupees ($13,500).
Past winners of the award include cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, badminton star Saina Nehwal, tennis player Leander Paes and reigning world chess champion Vishwanathan Anand.
India won two silver and four bronze medals in London, its biggest ever haul at the Olympics.
Cricketer Yuvraj Singh, who was man of the tournament in India’s victorious World Cup campaign last year, was among 25 recipients of the annual Arjuna award, the country’s second highest sporting honour.
Yuvraj, who was treated for a rare germ-cell tumour between his lungs earlier this year, has been declared fit to play in next month’s World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
Among other winners of the Arjuna award were hockey player Sardar Singh, woman archer Deepika Kumari and badminton stars Parupalli Kashyap and Ashwini Ponappa.
The award includes a cash prize of 500,000 rupees ($9,000), a statuette and a citation.