Virat Kohli, Mirabai named for Khel Ratna 2018

The Sports Ministry on Thursday approved the names of Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and ace weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu for the country's highest sporting honour -- Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna -- ard, which will be given away by President Ram Nath Kovind at a specially organised function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Tuesday. Both Kohli and Chanu will be presented a cash prize of Rs 7.5 lakh each apart from a medal and a citation.

The ministry also released the names of 20 Arjuna awardees for the year which includes star woman cricketer Smriti Mandhana, sprinter Hima Das, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and table tennis star Manika Batra, among others. Apart from these four, the others are Indian hockey stars Manpreet Singh and Savita Punia, long distance runner Jinson Johnson, shuttler N.Sikki Reddy, boxer Satish Kumar, golfer Shubhankar Sharma, Ravi Rathore (Polo), shooters Rahi Sarnobat, Ankur Mittal, Shreyasi Singh, paddler G.Sathiyan, tennis star Rohan Bopanna, wrestler Sumit and Pooja Kadian (Wushu).

Para athletes Ankur Dhama and Manoj Sarkar will also be awarded the Arjuna award, that includes a certificate and a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each. Among the winners of the Dronacharya awards are boxing coach Chenanda Achaiah Kuttappa, Vijay Sharma (Weightlifting), A. Srinivasa Rao (TT) and Sukhdev Singh Pannu (Athletics).

The ministry also named Clarence Lobo (Hockey), Tarak Sinha (Cricket), Jiwan Kumar Sharma (Judo) and V.R. Beedu (Athletics) for the Dronacharya Award for Lifetime Achievement. Satyadev Prasad (Archery), Bharat Kumar Chetri (Hockey), Bobby Aloysius (Athletics) and Chougale Dadu Dattatray (Wrestling) have been named for the Dhyan Chand Award.    - IANS