In a recent development, world record holder and double Paralympic Olympian Devendra Jhajharia’s name has been announced to receive this year’s Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. Apart from Jhajharia, former captain of Indian Hockey team, Sardar Singh’s name is also on the awardee list.
Devendra Jhajharia participated in the 2004 Paralympics held in Athens. There he clinched the gold medal in men’s F46 javelin event and set the world record of 62.15 meters, eclipsing the previous mark of 59.77m. That was his first gold medal and so was for India at the Paralympics since Murlikant Petkar finished at the top of the podium in men’s 50m freestyle swimming at Heidelberg, Germany in 1972.
Once again in Paralympics 2016 held in Brazil where he repeated the feat and won the gold and rewrote his own eight-year world record with a throw of 63.97m.
On the other hand, former Indian hockey team skipper Sardar Singh, who made his international debut against arch-rivals Pakistan in 2006, was named as captain of the Indian hockey squad after the debacle at the 2012 Olympics in London where the team finished last in the 12-nation field. With Sardar as captain, India won gold at the 2014 Asian Games and the continental title at the 2007 Asian Cup. He also led the national team to the bronze medal at the Hockey World League in 2015. The 31-year-old from Sirsa district of Haryana was included in the 18-men FIH All-Star team in 2010 and 2011.
The recipients of this year’s Dronacharya Awards, which honors coaches with notable achievements in their respective fields, were also announced on Tuesday.
The Dronacharya awardees are R. Gandhi (athletics), Heera Nand Kataria (kabaddi), G.S.S.V. Prasad (badminton), Brij Bhushan Mohanty (boxing), P.A. Raphel (hockey), Sanjoy Chakraverthy (shooting) and Roshan Lal (wrestling).
(From inputs from IANS)