Deepa Malik, Bajrang Punia nominated for Khel Ratna
Paralympics silver medallist Deepa Malik was today nominated for the country’s highest sporting honour the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award along with Asian and Commonwealth Games champion wrestler Bajrang Punia.
The name of 48-year-old Deepa, who won a silver in the shot put F53 category in the 2016 Rio Paralympics, was added for the Khel Ratna by a 12-member selection committee on the second day of the two-day meeting. World No. 1 wrestler in 65kg, Punia was nominated for the country’s top award yesterday by the panel headed by Justice (Retd) Mukundakam Sharma.
Six-time world champion and Olympic bronze medallist boxer MC Mary Kom recused herself from the meeting to avoid conflict of interest as her personal coach Chhotelal Yadav was in contention for the Dronacharya Award.
The committee also picked 19 sportspersons for the Arjuna Award, including the likes of cricketers Ravindra Jadeja and Poonam Yadav, track and field stars Tejinder Pal Singh Toor, Mohammed Anas and Swapna Barman, footballer Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, hockey player Chinglensana Singh Kangujam and shooter Anjum Moudgil. The panel also nominated three names for the Dronacharya Award, including former badminton star Vimal Kumar and three for the Dronacharya Award in lifetime category.