New Delhi: Hockey India has announced their recommendations for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Arjuna Award and Dronacharya Award on Saturday. Men’s goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and former women’s player Deepika were nominated for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
The duo, vice-captain of India’s Tokyo Olympics-bound men’s team Harmanpreet Singh and women’s team members Vandana Katariya and Navjot Kaur were also nominated for the Arjuna awards. For the Dronacharya Award, coaches BJ Kariappa and CR Kumar have been nominated.
Hockey India announces recommendations for the Nationals Awards 2021.
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) June 26, 2021
“It was a very proud moment for all of us when Rani won the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award last year and it is with great pride that we are recommending two of the finest hockey players the country has seen – PR Sreejesh and Deepika – for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award this year,” Hockey India president Gyanendro Ningombam said.
The period of consideration for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is between January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2020. In this time span, Sreejesh, who was a recipient of the Arjuna Award in 2015 and the prestigious Padma Shri Award in 2017, was an integral part of India’s silver medal-winning campaign at the Champions Trophy in 2018.
He also won the bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Games and gold at the FIH Men’s Series Finals in Odisha in 2019. Meanwhile, Deepika was a part of the Indian team that won silver at the 2018 Asian Games and at the Asian Champions Trophy the same year.
Harmanpreet, known as a drag-flick specialist has over 100 caps in national strips whereas Vandana and Navjot, have over 200 and 150 international caps respectively. All three of them became nominees for their notable contribution to Indian teams’ victories in the last few years.
Meanwhile, the irrepressible RP Singh and M Ch. Sanggai Ibemhal have been nominated for the Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement, thanks to their massive contributions in for the nation.