The Athletics Federation of India has recommended the name of javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra for both the Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award this year.
The 20-year-old won the gold at the Commonwealth Games earlier this month. In 2016, he became the first Indian to win a gold medal at any world event in athletics when he claimed a gold at the World Youth Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
His winning throw of 86.48m was both a national record as well as a still standing world record in the youth category. Chopra also bagged a gold medal at the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar.
Chopra is one of three athletes who have been recommended for the Arjuna Award, along with fellow javelin thrower Annu Rani and four-time Commonwealth Games medalist Seema Punia. Annu won bronze medals at the 2014 Asian Games in Busan as well as the 2017 Asian championships in Bhubaneshwar, but missed the bus for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Punia has never finished out of the podium at the Commonwealth Games, winning a bronze and three silvers, the last of which came at at Gold Coast.
The federation has also nominated legendary athlete-turned-coach PT Usha for the Dronacharya Award, along with the Indian youth team coach Sanjay Garnaik.
Bobby Aloysius, who held the Indian and south Asian record in high jump between 1995 and 2012, has been recommended for the Dhyanchand Award for lifetime achievement in sports.
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