Para-athletes feted as before; Sajjan Singh, Devinder Singh Garcha receives the joy of raising

Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra led the athletes to the National Sports Awards but the athletes stole the show at Durbar Hall in Rashtrapati Bhawan on Saturday.

Neeraj was one of 12 recipients of the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award from President Ram Nath Kovind.

Whenever the name of the para-athlete athlete was announced, the general assembly, which included sports minister Anurag Thakur, was very lively.

Recipient Khel Ratna Krishna Nagar, who received the gold medal in para badminton at the Tokyo Paralympics this year, was unable to attend the ceremony. She ran home Friday night after receiving news of her mother’s death.

Great excitement was maintained by Sajjan Singh (wrestling) and Davinder Singh Garcha, a member of the team that won gold in 1980 hockey, when their names were announced to receive the Dhyan Chand award.

Each year, the ceremony honors winners Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award, Dronacharya Award, Dhyan Chand Award, Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy received honors.


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