Arjuna scores over Khel Ratna with 15-0 margin

The committee decides not to award any athlete with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award
New Delhi: In what is only the third time since the inception of the country’s highest sporting award in 1991, a 12-member selection committee on Tuesday decided not to award any athlete with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award for the year 2013. On the day, as many as 15 players, including cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin, were recommended for the Arjuna Award.
The committee, headed by legendary cricketer Kapil Dev, decided not to name any sportsperson out of the seven candidates for the Khel Ratna at a meeting here. Those in the reckoning included Jeev Milkha Singh (golf), Krishna Poonia, Vikas Gowda (both athletics), Devendra Jhajharia (paralympic javelin thrower), Somdev Devvarman (tennis), H.N. Girisha (paralympics) and P.V. Sindhu (badminton).
The committee, it is learnt, contemplated Jeev’s and Jhajharia’s names, but later ruled them out.
Jeev won his fourth title on the European tour in 2012 by clinching the Scottish Open, making him the most successful Indian golfer in European Tour history. Jhajharia, meanwhile, became the first differently-abled Indian to win a gold at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in javelin throw at Lyon, France. Besides, he holds the world record in event, created en route to his gold medal feat in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
“We discussed each and every name for the Khel Ratna Award. The longest discussion was in case of golfer Jeev Milkha Singh after Kapil mentioned his name but ultimately the panel decided against his name,” a member was quoted as saying.
In the Arjuna award category, the committee recommended the names of Akhilesh Varma (archery), Tintu Luka (athletics), H.N. Girisha (paralympics), V. Diju (badminton), Geetu Ann Jose (basketball), Jai Bhagwan (boxing), Anirban Lahiri (golf), Mamta Pujari (kabaddi), Saji Thomas (rowing), Heena Sidhu (shooting), Anaka Alankamony (squash), Tom Joseph (volleyball), Renubala Chanu (weightlifting) and Sunil Rana (wrestling), besides Ashwin.
The 27-year-old Ashwin has been India’s premier off-spinner in the last few years and has taken 104 Test wickets from 20 matches and 106 scalps from 79 one-day internationals.
( Source : dc correspondent )
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