Record 8 para sport personalities named for national sports awards

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New Delhi, Aug 21 (IANS) In an unprecedented move, eight names from the Indian para sports fraternity, including four prominent para athletes, Mariyappan Thangavelu, Sandeep Chaudhary, Manish Narwal and Suyash Jadhav, have been confirmed for this year’s National Sports Awards which will be given out virtually on August 29.
While Mariyappan became only the third Indian para athlete to be awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award after former Paralympic medallists Devendra Jhajharia and Deepa Malik, Chaudhary (para athletics), Narwal (para shooting) and Jadhav (para swimming) have made it to the list of 27 Arjuna Awardees announced by the Sports Ministry on Friday.
With the latest addition, the number of para athletes winning the Arjuna Award has reached 30 and altogether a total number of 47 National Sports Award winners from the para sport fraternity since its inception in 1961 (Arjuna Awards).
Para badminton coach Gaurav Khanna, who has been the reason behind the meteoric rise of Indian para badminton globally over the years, has finally found his name in the final list for this year’s Dronacharya Award along with four others.
Indian para powerlifting founder and national coach Vijay Munishwar has been included in the list for the Dronacharya Lifetime award for his services to the sport.
Among the Dhyan Chand awardees, J. Ranjit Kumar and Sathya Prakash Tiwari have been named in the list of 15.
Congratulating the winners, Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) President Deepa Malik, also a Khel Ratna, Arjuna and Padma Shree awardee and a member of this year’s Selection Committee, said: “These recognitions are a big motivation and boost towards the Paralympic movement in the country. And it has come at the right time to motivate our athletes and coaches to work harder towards their Paralympic dreams. My heartiest congratulations to all the award winners.”

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