The 25-year-old has already received prestigious Padma Shri Award.
Hockey India announced the nomination of Indian women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award while her compatriots Vandana Katariya, Monika and Harmanpreet Singh have been nominated for the Arjuna Award.
For the Major Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement, Hockey India has recommended former India stalwarts Dr RP Singh and Tushar Khandker. Coaches BJ Kariappa and Romesh Pathania have been nominated for the Dronacharya Award.
The period of consideration for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is between January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2019. During this period, Rani has led the Indian women’s hockey team to historic victories in the Women’s Asia Cup in 2017, Silver at the 2018 Asian Games and played a critical role in the FIH Olympic Qualifiers in 2019 by scoring the deciding goal that helped in India’s qualification for the Tokyo Olympics.
The Indian women’s hockey team also climbed to the ninth position in the FIH World Ranking. Rani has also been the recipient of the Arjuna Award in 2016 and the prestigious Padma Shri award in 2020. Meanwhile, striker Vandana Katariya and Monika have been recommended for the Arjuna Award. They played key roles in the Indian team’s sensational wins in 2019 which include the FIH Series Finals in Hiroshima, Tokyo 2020 Olympics Test Event and the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in Bhubaneswar.
Indian men’s hockey team drag-flick sensation Harmanpreet Singh, also shortlisted for the prestigious Arjuna Award. Recently, he stepped up his role in the team and shouldered the responsibility of Vice Captain with aplomb. As a defender and drag-flicker, he was instrumental in the team’s winning performance in the FIH Series Finals.
At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Test Event, he captained the team to victory in the absence of Manpreet Singh who was rested for the tournament. Harmanpreet was also part of the Indian team that won the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers against Russia last year.
Former India stars Dr RP Singh and Tushar Khandker’s contributions in the field of Hockey has led to their recommendation for the Major Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement. Meanwhile, BJ Kariappa has been nominated for the Dronacharya Award, he coached the Indian junior men’s team who won the silver medal at the Sultan of Johor Cup in 2019.
Hockey India President Mohd Mustaque Ahmad said, “Sardar Singh was the last hockey player to win the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. Rani has set new benchmarks in women’s hockey and we at Hockey India feel she is very deserving of the top award. We are happy to endorse Vandana Katariya, Monika and Harmanpreet Singh for the Arjuna Award for their excellent performance for India in 2019.”
“Dr RP Singh and Tushar Khandker nominated for the Major Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement and Coaches BJ Kariappa and Romesh Pathania nominated for the Dronacharya Award have contributed to Indian hockey in their respective roles as players, administrators and coaches. They contribute to help build the sport and achieve our goals. It is with pride and happiness that Hockey India recommends these names for the prestigious National Awards.”