PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik to get Khel Ratna; Dipa Karmakar coach nominated for Dronacharya award
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PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik to get Khel Ratna; Dipa Karmakar's coach nominated for Dronacharya award

Indian athletes PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Dipa Karmakar and Jitu are set to be awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award later this year, with Karmakar's coach Bishweshwar Nandi nominated for the Dronacharya Award.

According to a release by the government-owned Press Information Bureau, cricketer Ajinkya Rahane, hockey player VR Raghunath, athlete Lalita Babar, boxer Shiva Thapa and shooter Apurvi Chandela are some of the prominent names who will receive the Arjuna Award, which will be presented alongside the Khel Ratna and Dronacharya Awards at a special function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on 29 August.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 19: Silver medalist V. Sindhu Pusarla of India celebrates during the medal ceremony after the Women's Singles Badminton competition on Day 14 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Riocentro - Pavilion 4 on August 19, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

PV Sindhu's silver medal at Rio Olympics 2016 has been ground-breaking for women's sports in India. GettyImages

Sindhu and Malik created history in the just-concluded Rio Olympics 2016 by clinching silver and bronze in badminton and wrestling respectively. Malik ended India's medal-less run in the Olympics after an agonising 11-day wait, producing an inspirational victory against Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan in the Women's 58kg category, becoming India's first female wrestler to win an Olympic medal.

Sindhu, on the other hand, scripted history by defeating world No 2 Wang Yihan in the semi-final of the Women's singles event, to become the first-ever Indian shuttler to compete in an Olympic gold medal match. Though she lost to top-ranked Carolina Marin in a closely-fought battle in the final, her achievement of a silver medal has been hailed as ground-breaking moment not only for Indian badminton, but for women's sports in the country.

She, along with coach Pullela Gopichand, was given a rousing welcome back home in Hyderabad, where the duo travelled from the airport to the Gachibowli Stadium on an open-bus parade.

Karmakar, who was also accorded a heroes welcome back home in Agartala, missed out on a medal in the women's vault competition by a whisker as she finished a creditable fourth in the final of the Olympics. However, in an event in which no Indian woman had competed before, the result was seen as historic.

Following is the full list of nominations for the various awards that will be presented on the following Monday:

Khel Ratna Award: PV Sindhu (badminton), Dipa Karmakar (Gymnastics), Jitu Rai (shooting), Sakshi Malik (wrestling).

Dronacharya Award: Nagapuri Ramesh (Athletics), Sagar Mal Dhayal (Boxing), Raj Kumar Sharma (cricket), Bishweshwar Nandi (Gymnastics), S Pradeep Kumar (Swimming, lifetime), Mahabir Singh (Wrestling, lifetime).

Arjuna Awards: Rajat Chauhan (archery), Lalita Babar (Athletics), Sourav Kothari (Billiards and snooker), Shiva Thapa (boxing), Ajinkya Rahane (cricket), Subrata Paul (football), Rani (Hockey), VR Raghunath (hockey), Gurpreet Singh (shooting), Apurvi Chandela (shooting), Soumyajit Ghosh (table-tennis), Vinesh (Wrestling), Amit Kumar (Wrestling), Sandeep Singh Mann (Para Athletics), Virender Singh (Wrestling, deaf).

Dhyan Chand Award: Satti Geetha (athletics), Sylvanus Dung Dung (hockey), Rajendra Pralhad Shelke (Rowing).

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy: Punjabi University, Patiala

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