Athletics Federation of India recommends Neeraj Chopra for Khel Ratna
Athletics Federation of India recommended CWG 2018 javelin champion Neeraj Chopra for Khel Ratna award; Annu Rani (javelin) and Seema Antil Punia for Arjuna Award, while PT Usha and Sanjay Garnaik have been recommended for the Dronacharya Award.Updated: Apr 28, 2018 00:20 IST
World junior champion and Commonwealth Games (CWG 2018) gold medalist in javelin throw, Neeraj Chopra, has been recommended for Khel Ratna Award by Athletics Federation of India (AFI). The national record holder has also been recommended for Arjuna Award.
Annu Rani (javelin) and seasoned discus thrower Seema Antil Punia — she won silver in CWG — have also been recommended for Arjuna Award. Athletics legend PT Usha and Sanjay Garnaik, coach of the India junior squad, have been recommended for the Dronacharya Award. Kuldeep Singh Bhullar, Jata Shankar and Bobby Aloysius are in the race for the Dhyanchand award.
“Seema deserves an Arjuna Award. She is one of the greatest and most consistent athlete India has produced. Her four-consecutive gold medals at Commonwealth Games proves that,” Bahadur Singh, chairman of Arujna Award recommendation committee of AFI, was quoted as saying by PTI.
Chopra became only the fifth Indian athlete to have won a track and field gold medal at the Commonwealth Games after throwing 86.47m. He had earlier won gold at the World Youth Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland with a throw of 86.48m, still a world record in the youth category. He also won gold at the 2017 Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar.
Seema’s long career started with a medal at the 2000 World Junior Championships. She had received a warning for the use of a stimulant- pseudoephedrine but was never suspended. She won bronze at the 2002 World Junior Championships.
Her biggest achievement was never finishing out of the podium at the Commonwealth Games, winning a bronze and three silvers, the last of which came at the 2018 Games at Gold Coast. Apart from winning gold at the last Asian Games at Incheon in 2014, Seema has also competed in three Olympics.