Young prodigy Neeraj Chopra has been recommended for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award for the third time in a row by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI). The javelin thrower is one of the brightest performers for his country and his commendable displays over the last couple of years have rightly garnered him attention from the masses and several accolades.
The star athlete bagged a gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games and the 2018 Commonwealth Games respectively. He also won those medals in dominant fashion as he set a national record of 88.06 meters at the Asian Games. His win at the Commonwealth Games put him in a special bracket of Indian athletes to win a gold medal on their CWG debut.
Neeraj Chopra also became the first Indian javelin thrower to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, further ameliorating his incredible achievement.
Due to these exploits, he was bestowed upon with the Arjuna Award in 2018 and also saw himself nominated for the Khel Ratna award in the same year. The wonder-kid is no stranger to breaking records and carrying out extraordinary feats.
Back in 2016, the young lad started making headlines after he won the gold medal and set a junior world record at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland. During that same year, he had bagged yet another gold at the 2016 South Asian Games, where he equaled the national record with a throw of 82.23 meters.
Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu was honored with the Khel Ratna award in 2018. The 25-year-old has been recommended this year for the Arjuna award by the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF). Two years ago, she was nominated for both the Arjuna award and the Khel Ratna award, India’s highest sporting honors.
Moreover, she has already been conferred with the Padma Shri award, the fourth highest civilian award in India after some fabulous performances in the Weightlifting World Championships.
Neeraj Chopra is the only track and field athlete to be recommended by the Athletics Federation of India for the esteemed sports award. Javelin thrower Annu Rani and discus thrower Seema Antil Punia are other athletes to have been recommended for the Arjuna Award by the federation.