The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award committee announced the two man shortlist for India’s highest sporting award. Former Indian Hockey captain Sardar Singh and Paralympian Devender Jharia have been shortlisted for the award.
Devender Jharia was the first athlete shortlisted for the award, as revealed by the awards selection committee head, Justice (Retd) C K Thakkar.
The committee’s second choice was Sardar Singh, but it has made it very clear that it wants both Jharia and Singh to considered for the award jointly.
Devender Jharia, the Paralympic Javelin Thrower is the first Indian to win two Paralympic gold medals. He won two gold medals in the Athens games and followed it up with two in the Rio games as well.
Sardar Singh has been pivotal in bringing Indian hockey back to its feet, by leading the team to medals in the Asian Games(gold in 2014 Incheon and bronze in 2010 Guangzhou) and Commonwealth games.
“My hard work for the last 15-20 years has paid off. It is the biggest of all sporting honours and the credit for that goes to my teammates because without them I couldn’t have achieved what I have,” Sardar Singh said after being nominated.
The Sports Ministry will take a couple of days before taking a call on who will be awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna(both of them could get it as well).