Manavjit gets Rajiv Khel Ratna, Arjuna for 14

By Qaiser Mohammad Ali, IANS

New Delhi : Ace shooter Manavjit Singh was Wednesday chosen for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna for 2006 while 14 athletes were picked for the Arjuna Award.

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Singh will receive a medal, a scroll and Rs.500,000.

The Kapil Dev-headed selection panel at its meeting here Wednesday chose three coaches for the Dronacharya Award, the top prize for coaches, and three personalities for the Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement, according to a panel member.

A maximum of 15 athletes can be chosen for the Arjuna Award in a year. But, said the panel member, Kapil was keen to maintain the sanctity of the oldest sports awards of the country.

“Similarly, only three coaches were picked for the Dronacharya Award when a maximum of five can be awarded in a year,” the panel member told IANS.

The Arjuna Award, Dronacharya Award and Dhyan Chand Award carry a purse of Rs.300,000 each.

The sports ministry will make a formal announcement of the awards later.

President Pratibha Patil will present the awards Aug 29, which is also celebrated as the National Sports Day.

The winners:

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna: Manavjeet Singh Sandhu (shooting)

Arjuna Awards: Jayanta Talukdar (archery), K.M. Beenamol (athletics), Chetan Anand (badminton), P. Harikrishna (chess), Anjum Chopra (cricket), Bijender Kumar (boxing), Vijay Kumar (shooting), Navneet Gautam (kabaddi), Geeta Rani (weightlifting), Geetika Jakhar (wrestling), Subhajit Saha (table tennis), Sourav Ghosal (squash), Jyoti Sunita Kullu (women’s hockey) and Rohit Bhakar (badminton-deaf and dumb)

Dronacharya Awards: R.P. Singh, Chandra Lal (boxing) and Koneru Ashok (chess)

Dhyan Chand Awards: Virender Singh (hockey), Shamsher Singh (kabaddi), Rajender Singh (wrestling)