Indian sports stars- cricketer Rohit Sharma, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, table tennis player Manika Batra and Paralympian M Thangavelu- were nominated for India’s highest award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.
Rohit Sharma will be the fourth cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli.
M Thangavelu won gold in the Rio Olympics. The high jumper is only the second sports person from Tamil Nadu to be recommended for the award. The first person was Vishwanathan Anand.
Talking about the recommendation, Vinesh said that she will try to live up to live up to the expectations.
“It’s a proud moment for me. It was a long wait but it was worthwhile. If God permits, I would live up to the reputation associated with this award,” said Vinesh.
Manika Batra is the first table tennis player to be chosen for the Khel Ratna. She shot into prominence at 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, winning a phenomenal four medals, including the women’s individual and team gold. She won the mixed doubles bronze at the Asian Games that followed.
Rani Rampal is the only female hockey player to be recommended for the award. Rani’s recommendation came late, after deep discussion among the selectors who met on Tuesday.
Under Rani, India had qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.