List of all athletes to get Khel Ratna and Arjuna award nomination for 2021


Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award is the highest sporting honour for a sportsperson. This award is named after Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India. The nominations for this award are received from respective government recognised federations, Indian Olympic association, Sports Authority of India and various control boards. This award is given annually to the deserving sportsperson who have performed well over a period of four years by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and the award comprises medallion, certificate and a cash prize of Rs 25 lakhs.

Arjuna award is given for outstanding performance in sports and games. This was the highest honour for sportspersons before Khel Ratna came up in 1991. The nominations for this award are received from respective government recognised federations, Indian Olympic association, Sports Authority of India and various control boards. The award comprises a bronze statuette of Arjuna, certificate and cash prize of Rs 15 lakhs.

Let’s have a look at the athletes nominated for Khel Ratna and Arjuna award in various sports

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award

Hockey (Hockey India)

PR Sreejesh

PR Sreejesh, born on (8 May 1988) is India’s goalkeeper who has been playing more than a decade now for India. He is the former captain of the national team and his international debut came way back in 2006 at the South Asian Games in Colombo, and since then, he has been part of many international assignments. He was part of the 2012 Olympics and 2016 Olympics, in which he was the captain of the side, taking India into the quarterfinals. He was already awarded with Arjuna award and Padma Shri in 2015 and 2017 respectively.

Deepika Thakur

Deepika Thakur born on (7 February 1987) is a former Indian women’s hockey player who represented India from 2006-2018. She played as a defender in the national team. The 34-years-old holds the record of being the highest capped player of Indian women’s team and was also the vice-captain of the Indian team at 2016 Rio Olympics. The former player was honoured with Arjuna award in 2020.

Shooting (National Rifle Association of India)

Ankur Mittal

Ankur Mittal born on (30 March 1992) is a sports shooter who first represented Indian in 2013 when the national team went to trap shooting World cup in Mexico. He rose to fame when he won the gold in double trap and a bronze in team double trap at the 2018 ISSF World Shooting championship at South Korea. In the same year 2018, he was honoured with Arjuna award.

Anjum Moudgil

Anjum Moudgil born on (5 January 1994) is a sport shooter who represents India in various events such 10m air rifle, 50m rifle 3 position and 50m rifle prone. She has won two silver medals in the 2018 world championships, one in 10m air rifle and other one in 10m team air rifle. She is currently ranked 2 in women’s 10m air rifle ISSF ranking and will be heading to her debut Olympics at Tokyo.

Table tennis (Table Tennis Federation of India)

Sharath Kamal

Sharath Kamal born on (12 July 1982) is a table tennis player who will be representing India in men’s singles & mixed doubles at Tokyo Olympics. This would be fourth straight Olympics for him who has been competing at the quadrennial event since the 2004 Athens Olympics. He has eight commonwealth medals and two Asian games medals to his name. The 38-years-old was awarded with Padma Shri in 2019, which happens to be India’s fourth highest civilian award.

Golf (Indian Golf Union)

Shubhankar Sharma

Shubhankar Sharma born on (21 July 1996) is a professional golfer from India. He became the youngest Indian winner on the European Tour when he won the Joburg open title in December, 2017 and then he followed it up with a win at the Maybank championship in February, 2018. The 24-years-golfer has also represented the country in five majors – Masters, US Open, The Open Championship (twice) and the PGA Championship.

Archery (Archery Association of India)

Jyothi Surekha Vennam

Jyothi Surekha Vennam born on (3 July 1996) is an Indian archer who is also the three-time world cup silver medallist. She competes in the compound category of archery. The 24-years-old had won a team silver at the 2017 World championship, in Mexico and individual bronze at 2019 World championship, in Netherlands. The compound archer was awarded with Arjuna award in 2017.

Athletics (Athletics Federation of India)

Neeraj Chopra

Neeraj Chopra, born on (24 December 1997) is a field athlete who represents India in Javelin throw at the global stage. This is the fourth consecutive year that Neeraj Chopra’s name is being recommended for the Khel Ratna award. Previously, he was honoured with Arjuna award for winning gold at the 2018 Commonwealth games. The 23-years-old athlete holds the national record of 88.07 m which he threw at the Indian Grand Prix in March 2021 and he will be going to his first Olympics this month.

Football (All India Football Federation)

Sunil Chhetri

Sunil Chhetri born on (3 August 1984) is a Indian footballer who represented the country in 118 international match and has scored 74 goals, both of which are Indian records for most capped player and most goals scored by an Indian footballer. He made his international debut in 2005 and since then has been part of winning teams in tournaments like 2008 AFC Challenge cup, SAFF championship (2011,2015), Nehru cup(2007,2009,2019). The 36-years-old footballer was honoured with Arjuna award in 2011 and Padma Shri in 2019.

Cricket (Board of Control for Cricket in India)

Mithali Raj

Mithali Raj born on (3 December 1982) is an Indian woman cricketer who made her international debut on June 26, 1999. She is the only woman cricketer to have a career spanning more than 22 years. The 38-years-old is the highest run-scorer and only female cricketer to have scored more than 7000 runs in women’s international cricket. The cricketer was awarded with Arjuna award in 2003 and Padma Shri in 2015.

Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin born on (17 September 1986) is an Indian cricketer who made his international debut in One Day Internationals in 2010 against Sri Lanka. He has been amazing bowler for India in test which he made the debut next year in 2011 and has picked 413 wickets from 79 tests. The 34-years-old became the fastest Indian bowler to pick 400 test wickets in terms of matches. For his exceptional performance in 2014, he was honoured with Arjuna award in the same year.

Badminton (Badminton Association of India)

Sai Praneeth

Sai Praneeth born on (10 August 1992) is an Indian professional badminton player. In 2016, he rose to fame when he defeated three-time Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the 1st round of the All England Badminton championship. In 2019, he won a bronze medal in World championship which made him the first Indian male shuttler to win a championship medal since 1983.

Srikanth Kidambi

Srikanth Kidambi born on (7 February 1993) is an Indian professional badminton player. His major break came in the year 2015 when he won the Swiss open by defeating Viktor Axelsen. In 2016 Rio Olympics, he reached till the quarter-finals and lost to Lin Dan in the quarters. The shuttler’s gold medal in the mixed event of the 2018 Commonwealth games made him the World number one in rankings which lasted for only for a week.

Motorsports (Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India)

Musa Sherif

Musa Sherif born on (7 September 1971) has been India’s most successful co-driver in rally races. Along with Gaurav Gill, a recipient of the Arjuna Award, has represented Indian in 65 rallies with 38 overall wins. He has been into rallying for past 30 years and has partner with 49 drivers over the years. For his exceptional career in motorsports, Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) has nominated him for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.

Chess (All India Chess Federation)

Koneru Humpy

Koneru Humpy born on (31 March 1987) is an Indian chess player who is also current Women’s world rapid champion. She had won two gold medals for India in 2006 Doha Asian games. In 2019, making her comeback from maternity sabbatical, she became women’s World Rapid champion.

Arjuna Award

Hockey (Hockey India)

Harmanpreet Singh

Harmanpreet Singh, born on (6 January 1996) plays as a defender for the Indian team. He was part of the 2016 Olympics and also was part of the 2016 Junior World cup winning team. Since then, the 25-years-old has been a regular feature for the India team and will going to his second Olympics this month. The 25-years-old has been nominated for 2nd consecutive time this year.

Vandana Katariya

Vandana Katariya, born on (April 15th 1992) is from Uttarakhand who plays as a forward for the Indian team. She came into the limelight when she was the top goal-scorer for India in the 2013 Women’s hockey junior world cup. Since then, she has been a regular feature for India in every tournament, making more than 200 appearances for India. The striker was part of the last Olympics and will be up for her second Olympics at Tokyo.

Navjot Kaur

Navjot Kaur, born on (March 7th 1995) is from Haryana who plays as a midfielder for the Indian team. She made her debut for India in 2012 and is one of the most experienced players in the midfield with more than 150 appearances for India. The 26-years-old has represented India in the Rio Olympics and it will be her second Olympics this month.

Shooting (National Rifle Association of India)

Elavenil Valarivan

Elavenil Valarivan born on (2 August 1999) is a sports shooter who will be representing India in women’s 10m Air rifle & 10m Air Rifle at the Tokyo Olympics. She is the only Indian shooter to get the Tokyo slot without winning a quota. Her previous achievements are a silver medal at the 2018 ISSF World championship at Changwon, gold medal at the ISSF World cup at Rio de Janiero and Putian in 2019.

Abhishek Verma

Abhishek Verma born on (1 August 1989) is a sport shooter who will be representing India in 10m air pistol & 10m air pistol mixed team event at Tokyo Olympics. He is currently ranked World number one in 10m air pistol.

Table Tennis (Table Tennis Federation of India)

Sutirtha Mukherjee

Sutirtha Mukherjee born on (10 October 1995) is a table tennis player who is currently ranked number two Indian player in women’s singles behind Manika Batra. Her major achievement came up at 2018 Commonwealth games when she won a team gold at the games. She has qualified for the Olympics and will be heading to her first Olympics.

Ayhika Mukherjee

Ayhika Mukherjee born on (10 June 1997) is a table tennis player who was part of the Indian team in the 2018 Asian games. She became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal in the women’s singles category when she won in 21st edition of the Commonwealth Table tennis championship in 2019.

Manav Thakkar

Manav Thakkar born on (14 April 2000) is a table tennis player who was part of the Indian team in the 2018 Asian games. In December 2019, he became the world no.1 in under-21 men’s singles category by winning at the ITTF Challenge Plus Benemax-Virgo North American Open in Canada.

Golf (Indian Golf Union)

Udayan Mane

Udayan Mane born on (24 February 1991) who hails from Maharashtra is a professional golfer who will be representing India in the men’s individual gold at the Tokyo Olympics. He is currently ranked at 354th and qualified for the Olympics with the withdrawal of Argentine Emiliano Grillo who was ranked world number 74.

Rashid Khan

Rashid Khan born on (15 February 1991) is an Indian professional golfer who was part of the 2010 Asian games team that won silver. He is a two-time Asian tour winner and has 12 professional wins under his belt.

Diksha Dagar

Diksha Dagar born on (14 December 2000) is an Indian professional golfer. She is deaf and she represented Indian at the 2017 Summer Deaflympics. The golfer was also part of the 2018 Asian games team. In 2019, she became the youngest Indian woman golfer to win the Ladies European tour when she achieved the feat at the age of 19.

Archery (Archery Association of India)

Muskan Kirar

Muskan Kirar born on (14 April 2000) is an Indian archer who has won gold medal in the women’s compound final event at the Archery Asia cup, stage-1 competition in Bangkok on March 7, 2018.

Wrestling (Wrestling Federation of India)

Ravi Kumar Dahiya

Ravi Kumar Dahiya born on (12 December 1997) is a freestyle wrestler who will be representing India in 57kg category at the Tokyo Olympics. Some of his notable performances are two gold medals in 2020 & 2021 Asian Championship and bronze in 2019 World Championship.

Deepak Punia

Deepak Punia born on (19 May 1999) is a freestyle wrestler who will be representing India in 86kg category at the Tokyo Olympics. He has won gold medal in 2019 junior World Championship and also silver medal in senior World Championship.

Anshu Malik

Anshu Malik born on (5 August 2001) is a freestyle wrestler who will be representing India in 57kg category at the Tokyo Olympics. Recently, she won a gold medal in the 2021 Asian Championships and she will be making her Olympics debut at Tokyo.

Sarita Mor

Sarita Mor born on (16 April 1995) is an Indian freestlyle wrestler who had won silver medal in the 2017 Asian Championship, Gold in the 2019 Asian championship and again gold in the 2021 Asian championship in 59kg category. For her consistent performance, she has been nominated for Arjuna award.

Tennis (All India Tennis Association)

Ankita Raina

Ankita Raina born on (11 January 1993) is an Indian professional tennis player who has won 11 singles and 18 doubles titles on the ITF circuit. She is currently ranked at world no.180 and is the no.1 Indian woman singles player. She rose to fame when she won a bronze medal in the 2018 Asian games. It is likely that she will be pairing up with Sania Mirza at Tokyo Olympics.

Prajnesh Gunneshwaran

Prajnesh Gunneshwaran born on (12 November 1989) is an Indian professional tennis player who has won 2 ATP challenger and 8 ITF titles in singles. He is currently ranked 148 in ATP Ranking for men, 2021 and is the no.1 Indian men’s singles player. His notable performance was bronze medal finish in the 2018 Asian games.

Boxing (Boxing Federation of India)

Simranjit Kaur

Simranjit Kaur born on (10 July 1995) is an amateur boxer who will be representing India in 60kg category at Tokyo Olympics. Earlier, she had won a bronze medal in the 2018 World championships, silver medal in the 2019 Asian championship and bronze medal in the 2021Asian championship.she will be heading to her first Olympics which will be held in Tokyo.

Gaurav Solanki

Gaurav Solanki born on (21 January 1997) is an amateur boxer who competes in 52kg category. His best performance came up in 2018 Commonwealth games where he had won the gold medal. He didn’t make the cut to the Tokyo Olympics.

Sonia Chahal

Sonia Chahal born on (3 October 1997) is an Indian amateur boxer who competes in the 57kg category. Some of her notable performances are silver medal in the 2018 World championship and bronze medal in the 2019 Asian championship. She also didn’t make the cut to the Tokyo Olympics.

Football (All India Football Federation)

Bala Devi

Bala Devi born on (2 February 1990) is an Indian women’s footballer who plays as a forward for Scottish Women’s Premier club Rangers and Indian women’s national football team. She has played for than 50 matches for the country since 2010 and will play a vital role for the team during AFC Women’s Asian cup next year.

Cricket (Board of control for cricket in India)

Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan born on (5 December 1985) is an Indian cricketer who opens batting for the team. He was the highest run-scorer for India in the 2013 Champions trophy where India lifted the trophy. He has scored 5977 from 142 matches in One-day international and is one of the consistent scorers in this format.

KL Rahul

KL Rahul born on (18 April 1992) is an Indian cricketer who made his international debut when India played against Australia in 2014. He was part of the Indian team at 2019 World cup.

Jasprit Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah born on (6 December 1993) is an Indian cricketer who plays in all three formats for the Indian team. His best performance came up in 2018 and was even named by ICC both in the World test XI and ODI XI.

Badminton (Badminton Association of India)

HS Prannoy

HS Prannoy born on (17 July 1992) is an Indian professional badminton player who has won medals for India in events such as Commonwealth games, Asian championships, South Asian games and Youth Olympic games. His notable performance was gold in mixed team event at the 2018 Commonwealth games.

Pranav Jerry Chopra

Pranav Jerry Chopra born on (6 September 1992) is an Indian professional badminton player who was also part of the gold medal winning mixed team at the 2018 Commonwealth games. His other notables performances are two gold medals in 2016 South Asian games (Mixed doubles, Men’s team).

Sameer Verma

Sameer Verma born on (22 October 1994) is an Indian professional badminton player. In 2018, he became the first Indian badminton player to secure a position in World tour finals when he played the semi-finals of the World tour final.

Motorsports (Federation for Motorsports clubs of India)

Jehan Daruvala

Jehan Daruval born on (1 October 1998) is an Indian racer competing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship with Carlin Motorsport. He became the first driver from India to win a Formula 2 race when he finished 1st at the Sakhir sprint race in Bahrain.

Odisha sports

Dutee Chand

Dutee Chand born on (3 February 1996) is a track athlete represents India in 100m and 200m race events. Recently, she set a new national record in 100m by clocking 11.17 seconds at the Indian National Grand Prix-4 at Patiala. The 25-year-olds most notable performance is her silver medals in both 100m and 200m at the 2018 Asian games.

Chess (All India Chess Federation)

Vidit Santosh Gujrathi

Vidit Santosh Gujrathi born on (24 October 1994) is an Indian chess player. Currently, he is the third highest rated player in India (behind Viswanathan Anand and Pentala Harikrishna).

Adhiban Baskaran

Adhiban Baskaran born on (15 August 1992) is currently the fourth highest rated player in India. He had won bronze medal for India in the 2010 Asian games.

S.P. Sethuraman

S.P. Sethuraman born on (25 February 1993) is an Indian chess grandmaster.

M.R. Lalith Babu

M.R Lalith Babu born on (5 January 1993) is an India chess grandmaster. He was awarded the title of Grandmaster by FIDE in 2012.

Bhakti Kulkarni

Bhakti Kulkarni born on (19 May 1992) is an Indian chess women grandmaster. She was awarded the title of Grandmaster by FIDE in 2012.

Padmini Rout

Padmini Rout born on (5 January 1994) is an Indian chess player who holds both the titles of International Master and Woman Grandmaster.

Sajan Prakash born on (14 September 1993) is an Indian swimmer who specializes in freestyle, butterfly and medley events. He had won record 6 gold medals and 2 silver medals at the 2015 National games of India in Kerala. He was also part of the 2016 Rio Olympics, where he finished at 28th position in the 200m butterfly. Recently, he became the first Indian swimmer to make the Olympics ‘A’ cut to automatically qualify for the Olympics, clocking 1:56.38 minutes in 200m butterfly at the Settecolli in Italy. With the timing of 1:56.38, he holds the national record in this category.

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