National Sports Awards: Khel Ratna, a lifetime achievement, and seven Arjuna awardees from South

Karnataka's BC Suresh received the Lifetime Achievement award, while Khel Ratna went to Tamil Nadu's Sharath Achanta.

ByAjay Tomar

Published Nov 30, 2022 | 10:18 PM Updated Dec 01, 2022 | 3:33 AM

All the National Sports Awards winners with President Droupadi Murmu in New Delhi on Wednesday, 30 November, 2022. (Supplied)

A total of 26 sportspersons across several sports received the 2022 National Sports Awards on Wednesday, 30 November.

This comprised one Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award and 25 Arjuna awards.

While the former is given to a sportsperson with the “most outstanding performance” over the past four years, the latter is handed to players having “consistently outstanding performance” over the same period.

The awards were given by President Droupadi Murmu at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The entries for the awards, which are usually given on National Sports Day, 29 August, were extended this year due to the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games (CWG).

Sharath Kamal Achanta with Arjuna Award. (Rashtrapatibhvn/twitter)

Sharath Kamal Achanta with Arjuna Award. (Rashtrapatibhvn/Twitter)

Khel Ratna for Sharath Kamal Achanta

Indian table tennis veteran Sharath Kamal Achanta from Chennai received the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award.

While the paddler won three gold medals and a silver medal at the CWG 2022, he had finished with a gold, silver and bronze at the 2018 CWG.

The 40-year-old has featured in a total of five CWGs since 2002. He was conferred with a medallion, a certificate, and a cash prize of ₹25 lakh at the awards ceremony.

Arjuna awards

Prannoy HS with Arjuna Award. (Rashtrapatibhvn/twitter)

Prannoy HS with Arjuna Award. (Rashtrapatibhvn/Twitter)

A total of seven sportspersons from South India received the Arjuna award among the 25 winners across India.

This included triple-jumper Eldhose Paul and shuttler Prannoy HS from Kerala.

Prannoy received the award for securing a bronze at the 2020 Asian Championship and a gold in the 2018 CWG, while Paul was awarded for his gold medal in the 2022 CWG.

Telangana boxer Nikhat Zareen and paddler Sreeja Akula also received the award.

While the former was awarded for the two gold medals in the 2022 World Championship and 2022 CWG, the latter received the award for gold in the 2022 CWG and the silver medal in the 2019 Commonwealth Championship.

R Praggnanandhaa with Arjuna Award. (Rashtrapatibhvn/twitter)

R Praggnanandhaa with Arjuna Award. (Rashtrapatibhvn/Twitter)

From Tamil Nadu, chess player R Praggnanandhaa, shooter Elavenil Valarivan and para-badminton player Jerlin Anika J were also awarded.

Pragg got the award for the bronze medal in the 2022 Chess Olympiad and the 2020 gold in the FIDE online Olympiad.

Valarivan was awarded with the gold in the 2019 ISSF World Cup Final as well as a silver medal in the same year at the Asian Shooting Championship.

Jerlin Anika won the award for bagging two golds — women’s singles and mixed doubles — at the 2021 Summer Deaflympics.

The athletes received a bronze statuette of Arjuna, a certificate, and a cash prize of ₹15 lakh.

Lifetime achievement award

The Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement award was given to former India international BC Suresh from Karnataka.

He was awarded for winning two gold medals in the 2002 Asian Games and 2004 World Cup.

The award comprises a Dhyan Chand statuette, a certificate and a cash prize of ₹10 lakh.