Pune: Indian Table Tennis star Manika Batra, who was conferred with the Khel Ratna on Saturday, has said the award motivates her to work harder for the country.
“I am really grateful and happy to receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. I would like to thank the government of India, sports ministry, Sports Authority of India, and Table Tennis Federation of India,” Manika told reporters here.
“This award motivates me to work harder and I will work harder for my country and I will give my best for my country,” she added.
For the first time in the history of the National Sports Awards, President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday virtually conferred the National Sports and Adventure Award 2020.
A record 74 athletes of the country were honoured on hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand’s 115th birth anniversary.
Apart from Manika, cricketer Rohit Sharma, Mariyappan T. (Para-Athletics), Vinesh (Wrestling), and Rani (Hockey) were also conferred with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
Twenty-seven sportspersons were honoured with the Arjuna Award, during the ceremony.
They were Atanu Das (archery), Chirag Chandrasekhar Shetty (badminton), Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (basketball), Subedar Manish Kaushik and Lovlina Bograhain (boxing), Deepti Sharma (cricket), Sawant Ajay Anant (Equestrian), Sandesh Jhingan (football), Aditi Ashok (golf), Akashdeep Singh and Deepika (hockey), Deepak (kabaddi), Kale Sarika Sudhakar (kho kho), Dattu Baban Bhokanal (rowing), and Saurabh Chaudhary (Shooting), Madhurika Suhas Patkar (table tennis), Divij Sharan (Tennis), Divya Kakran and Rahul Aware (Wresting), Shiva Keshavan (Winter Sports), Suyash Narayan Jadhav (Para-Swimming), Sandeep (Para-Athletics) and Manish Narwal (Para shooting), Shutler Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy, cricketer Ishant Sharma and shooter Manu Bhaker.