Deepa Malik joins Bajrang Punia for Khel Ratna award

New Delhi: Rio Paralympics silver medallist Deepa Malik was on Saturday nominated for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the country's highest sporting honour, joining Asian and Commonwealth Games champion wrestler Bajrang Punia. The name of 48-year-old Deepa, who won a silver in the shot put F53 category in the 2016 Rio Paralympics, was added for the Khel Ratna by a 12-member selection committee on the second day of the two-day meeting here.

World No. 1 wrestler in 65kg, Punia was nominated for the prestigious award on Friday, by the panel headed by Justice (Retd) Mukundakam Sharma. Six-time world champion and Olympic bronze medallist boxer M C Mary Kom recused herself from the meeting to avoid conflict of interest as her personal coach Chhotelal Yadav was in contention for the Dronacharya Award. .

List of sportspersons nominated.

Khel Ratna: B Punia (wrestling), D Malik (para-athletics). Arjuna Award: T Pal Singh Toor (athletics), M Anas Y (athletics), S Bhaskaran (body building), S Lather (boxing), R Jadeja (cricket), C Singh Kangujam (hockey), A Thakur (kabaddi), G Singh Gill (motor sports), P Bhagat (para sports-badminton), A Moudgil (shooting), H R Desai (table tennis), P Dhanda (wrestling), F Mirza (equestrian), GS Sandhu (football), P Yadav (cricket), S Burman (athletics), SS Gurjar (para sports-athletics), BS Praneeth (badminton), S Singh Shergill (polo). Dronacharya Award (regular category): VKumar (badminton), S Gupta (table tennis), MS Dhillon (athletics) Dronacharya Award (lifetime category): M Patel (hockey), RS Khokar (kabaddi), S Bhardwaj (cricket). Dhyan Chand Award: Manuel Fredricks (hockey), Arup Basak (table tennis), Manoj Kumar (wrestling), Nitten Kirrtane (tennis), C Lalremsanga (archery).

- Press Trust of India

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