Olympic bronze-winning Indian men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh was on Tuesday added to the list of Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna awardees, taking the total number of this year’s winners to 12.

The ceremony is scheduled for November 13 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Neeraj Chopra, Tokyo Paralympics gold medallists, Mithali Raj among those recommended for Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna

Manpreet was originally recommended for the Arjuna award but he joined veteran goalkeeper PR Sreejesh as the second hockey player in the list of awardees for the highest sporting honour.

The other prominent Khel Ratna winners this year include Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra and Olympic silver-medallist wrestler Ravi Dahiya, alongside the gold medal winners from Paralympic Games and Indian cricket legend Mithali Raj.

Among 35 Arjuna awardees are most of India’s Paralympic medal winners and cricketer Shikhar Dhawan.

“The awardees will receive their awards from the President of India at a specially organized function at the Darbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan on 13th November, 2021 (Saturday) at 1630 hrs,” the sports ministry announced.

It was held online last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Khel Ratna award is given for the spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of previous four years. Arjuna Award for outstanding performance in Sports and is given for good performance over a period of previous four years and showing qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline.

“A large number of nominations were received for these awards this year, which were considered by the Selection Committee headed by Justice (Retd.) Mukundakam Sharma (former Judge of Supreme Court), consisting members from eminent sportspersons and persons having experience in sports journalism & sports administrator etc,” the ministry stated.

Given the unprecedented Olympic and Paralympic performance, the number of awardees was expected to be high this year.

India won seven medals in the Olympics and notched up 19 medals, including five gold, eight silver and six bronze medals at the Paralympics in the country’s best ever show at the two sporting extravaganzas.

A total of 10 coaches were picked for the Dronacharya awards.

In the life-time achievement category, TP Ouseph (Athletics), Sarkar Talwar (Cricket), Sarpal Singh (Hockey), Ashan Kumar (Kabaddi) and Tapan Kumar Panigrahi (Swimming) were picked for the honour.

The winners in the regular Dronacharya category were: Radhakrishnan Nair P (Athletics), Sandhya Gurung (Boxing), Pritam Siwach (Hockey), Jai Prakash Nautiyal (Para Shooting) and S Raman (Table Tennis).

Gurung, besides being an assistant coach in the national camp, is also the personal coach of Olympic bronze-medallist Lovlina Borgohain, who will receive the Khel Ratna just a year after being bestowed the Arjuna award.

Sajjan Singh (Wrestling) was selected for Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime achievement along with former world and Asian champion boxer Lekha K.C, Abhijeet Kunte (Chess), Davinder Singh Garcha (Hockey) and Vikas Kumar (Kabaddi).

The awardees:

Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award: Neeraj Chopra (Athletics), Ravi Kumar Dahiya (Wrestling), Lovlina Borgohain (Boxing), PR Sreejesh (Hockey), Avani Lekhara (Para Shooting), Sumit Antil (Para Athletics), Pramod Bhagat (Para Badminton), Krishna Nagar (Para Badminton), Manish Narwal (Para Shooting), Mithali Raj (Cricket), Sunil Chhetri (Football), Manpreet Singh (Hockey).

Arjuna Awards: Arpinder Singh (Athletics), Simranjit Kaur (Boxing), Shikhar Dhawan (Cricket), CA Bhavani Devi (Fencing), Monika (Hockey), Vandana Katariya (Hockey), Sandeep Narwal (Kabaddi), Himani Uttam Parab (Mallakhamb), Abhishek Verma (Shooting), Ankita Raina (Tennis), Deepak Punia (Wrestling), Dilpreet Singh (Hockey), Harman Preet Singh (Hockey), Rupinder Pal Singh (Hockey), Surender Kumar (Hockey), Amit Rohidas (Hockey), Birendra Lakra (Hockey), Sumit (Hockey), Nilakanta Sharma (Hockey), Hardik Singh (Hockey), Vivek Sagar Prasad (Hockey), Gurjant Singh (Hockey), Mandeep Singh (Hockey), Shamsher Singh (Hockey), Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (Hockey), Varun Kumar (Hockey), Simranjeet Singh (Hockey), Yogesh Kathuniya (Para Athletics) Nishad Kumar (Para Athletics), Praveen Kumar(Para Athletics), Suhash Yathiraj (Para Badminton) Singhraj Adhana (Para Shooting), Bhavina Patel (Para Table Tennis), Harvinder Singh (Para Archery) and Sharad Kumar (Para Athletics’).